WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — A New Mexico man accused of sexually abusing a child in June 2020 was recently extradited to Utah by St. George detectives.

Wesli James Pearce, 31, of Artesia, New Mexico, was charged with three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a child on Oct. 7, 2020, at the Fifth District Court in Washington County.

A warrant for Pearce’s arrest was issued on Oct. 16, 2020. However, arrest agencies in New Mexico were unable to locate him at the time.

Two St. George police detectives arrested Pearce in New Mexico on Thursday, March 9, and booked him into the Washington County Jail.

According to court documents, St. George police were dispatched to an apartment complex on Village Road on June 11, 2020, on reports of a sex abuse incident. A mother reported that her child had been sexually abused by Pearce while the two were watching TV.

Police noted in charging documents that the child had moved away on at least three occasions to get Pearce to stop, but he continued his actions.

He made an initial appearance in Washington County court on Friday, March 10. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 45 years to life in prison.

Officials confirmed that Pearce posted bail through a bond company and was released from jail.