A nearly 20-year-old Erie violent assault case has ended up in the national spotlight.

Michael Akerly, now 56, was 37 when he was arrested in 1998 and charged with rape and aggravated assault.

Akerly violently raped raped and severely beat a 61-year-old woman, and he skipped town.

In 2014, the Commonwealth tried him in absentia, meaning without the defendant there, and he was found guilty.

U.S. Marshals have been tracking down leads as they renew efforts to find him.

This past Sunday, the story was told during an hour-long broadcast of the Hunt with John Walsh.

It featured Erie County Assistant District Attorney Erin Connelly, who tried the case in 2014.

Akerly is one of Pennsylvania State Police's top 10 most wanted fugitives.

Copyright 2017 Erie News Now. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.