Former fugitive coach back in Rhode Island to face molestation charges after 10 years on run



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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island — A former gymnastics coach who fled Rhode Island a decade ago while facing molestation allegations has been arraigned as a bail violator.

James William Bell, who was arrested in Washington in April, was presented before a judge Thursday at the Eleanor Slater Hospital in Cranston because of an undisclosed medical condition.

He was ordered to undergo a competency evaluation.

Bell, who worked at the Middletown YMCA, went missing in 2004 as while facing charges stemming from the alleged molestation of three girls who were between 9 and 13 years old.

He was arrested by the FBI who had received a tip that he was living near Spokane, Washington.

He is due back in court on July 2, but authorities say his medical condition may prevent him from attending that hearing.

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