Knox child rape suspect on lam 23 years denied release
By Knoxville News Sentinel
A former Knoxville martial arts instructor charged with raping a student is no more likely to stay put now and face prosecution than he was when he fled to the Middle East nearly a quarter-century ago, a federal prosecutor argued Friday.
Jahangir "John" Shafighi, 55, was captured in May in Atlanta as he stepped off a plane. He's been on the lam in a Knox County child rape case since 1994. He fled to the Middle East. After his arrest in Atlanta on a federal charge involving a passport, Shafighi was granted - and posted - a $350,000 bond in the state case. On Friday, he asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Guyton to set him free pending trial in the passport case.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Bart Slabbekorn argued Shafighi didn't willingly return to Knoxville and isn't likely to stick around.