Rio de Janeiro: A 70-year-old fugitive doctor wanted for sexually abusing dozens of patients in Brazil has been arrested, Brazilian police said.

After three years on the run, Roger Abdelmassih, 70, was found in neighbouring Paraguay and handed over to Brazilian authorities, Xinhua quoted police as saying Tuesday.

His deportation was facilitated by the fact that he was living in Paraguay illegally. He arrived in Paraguay three months ago, after passing through several European countries undetected, authorities said.

A widely known specialist in in-vitro fertilization in Brazil's largest city San Paulo, the doctor was accused by at least 35 former patients of rape and sexual molestation, and was convicted.

He was sentenced to 278 years in prison on 56 counts of rape and molestation in 2010.

Abdelmassih escaped Brazil in 2011, the same year the San Paulo Medical Council revoked his license to practice medicine.

Abdelmassih maintains he is innocent.