The Maine Department of Corrections and several law enforcement agencies are continuing to search for a convicted sex offender still serving probation and the man charged with sexual assault who is traveling with him.

Anna Black, the director of government affairs for the Maine Department of Corrections, said Monday that Shawn Batchelder, 36, charged with felony gross sexual assault in May 2012 and Steven Petersen, currently out on bail in York county for a charge of gross sexual assault, have been on the run since Sept. 12.

The Department of Corrections said in a media release Friday that Batchelder and Petersen were likely in a “heavily wooded area near Rangeley or Byron.”

Shawn Batchelder shown in May 2020, left, and in September 2020. Photos submitted by the Maine Department of Corrections

According to the Department of Corrections, Batchelder never reported to his probation officer as required and was last seen Sept. 12 in Augusta.

Black said Monday that many law enforcement agencies, including Oxford County Sheriff’s Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Maine State Police, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and the Maine office of the U.S. Marshals Service have been searching remote areas of Rangeley and Byron “on a rotating basis.”

“The MDOC and partners will reexamine the investigation parameters later this week, including consideration of limiting manpower used in the physical search, (but) only if leads dwindle,” Black said.

Any information about their whereabouts or sightings should be reported to local law enforcement or emailed to [email protected]

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