George Doulat, 56, of Pasture Crescent, Filey, was sentenced in his absence to 10 years in prison for raping a teenager.
He was also convicted of attempted rape and sexual assault against the same woman, who was 19 when he committed the offences in Bradford.
Bradford Crown Court issued a warrant for Doulat’s arrest when he failed to attend court last week after he was found guilty in his absence.
Police launched a manhunt and told members of the public not to approach Doulat.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said today: “He was detained by French authorities in Calais last night.”
The spokesman said Doulat would be brought before a French court but it was not yet known when he will be returned to Britain.