A nationwide arrest warrant was issued this week for Khalid A. Fathey after he was a no-show at his Benton County Superior Court trial.
The U.S. Marshals Service then discovered that Fathey left Seattle on July 23 on a plane bound for Dubai, said Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra.
She did not know if it was a one-way ticket or round trip.
Fathey was free on his personal recognizance since being charged with the sex crimes in May 2015. He now faces a new charge of bail jumping.
Judge Vic VanderSchoor waited 1 1/2 hours Monday — in case Fathey had car trouble or another problem — before calling off the trial, releasing the jurors and ordering the arrest warrant.
“Needless to say, the victim’s family was very upset by the news,” Petra told the Herald. “They wanted justice in this case and for this case to be over.”
Needless to say, the victim’s family was very upset by the news. They wanted justice in this case and for this case to be over.
Anita Petra, Benton County deputy prosecutor
Kennewick attorney Kevin Holt, who was hired by Fathey, said he met with his client for about eight hours on July 21 and then prepared for the trial.
“He assured me that he would be here Monday morning,” Holt said.
Fathey’s brother showed up at Holt’s office as scheduled at 8 a.m. and the two headed to court, but they never heard from Fathey.
Holt said he has not seen an actual report from the Marshals Service that his client fled the country. The brother is supposed to call him with an update on Wednesday afternoon.
Holt said his client is from northern Iraq. Fathey had been in the military and worked with the United States government after the 2003 invasion, he said.
Since Fathey was no longer welcome in Iraq under the new regime, he sought political asylum and came to the United States with his wife and children as political refugees, Holt said.
Fathey and his wife were paid by the state for four years to be full-time caregivers for a Tri-City woman who had medical issues, he said.
Fathey contends the sex crimes did not happen and were made up by the girl’s family. Fathey and his family had to move to Spokane from Kennewick about six months ago because they were afraid for their safety in the Tri-Cities, especially after someone reportedly set fire to their car, said Holt.