Pedophile who fled to Israel back in jail after eight years

An Ashland pedophile who fled the country after conviction on child sex abuse charges more than eight years ago is back in Jackson County Jail.

Arthur Samuel Silverman, 70, is due at a resentencing hearing today in Jackson County Circuit Court. He was extradited from Israel on Thursday and returned to Oregon on Friday, said District Attorney Mark Huddleston.

Silverman was a counselor who treated sexually abused children when he was arrested in December 1996 for molesting two boys who were not clients. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree sexual abuse on June 25, 1997, said Huddleston.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Loren Sawyer sentenced Silverman to 120 days in jail on the two charges, less than the six years and three months required for each under Oregon's then-new Measure 11 mandatory sentencing law.

The district attorney's office appealed, and a new sentencing was set in 2001. Silverman failed to appear.

Police knew Silverman had fled to Israel several years ago, but he could not be extradited under the law at the time, Huddleston said.

"We tried to get an extradition earlier, but the treaty between the United States and Israel was an older treaty that did not allow for extradition where the victims were boys," he said.

By the time extradition was possible again, police had lost track of Silverman. They found him again a year ago, and Silverman has fought the extradition since, Huddleston said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Sanne Specht at or 776-4497.

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