Arizona man arrested for faking his death to avoid registering as a sex offender – La Opinion

Arizona man arrested for faking his death to avoid registering as a sex offender – La Opinion

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Authorities reported that A man was arrested in Arizona earlier this week after he allegedly faked his own death to avoid registering as a sex offender..

The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office said Benjamin Hollins, 50, who was originally convicted as a sex offender more than 20 years ago in California, was arrested Tuesday after deputies located him living at a home in Mesa, Arizona. , with a false identity.

The sheriff’s office did not say why Chandler Police Department officers were looking for him or how they found him.

Hollins was living in Arizona City in 2018 and working as a behavioral health counselor. She had not registered as a sex offender outside of California, according to a sheriff’s office posting in Facebook.

During that job, Hollins kidnapped and attempted to sexually abuse a 16-year-old client. He was sentenced to supervised probation after reaching an agreement that required him to register as a sex offender each year.

He failed to comply and attempted to fake his own death in October 2023, the sheriff’s office said.

A woman, who has not been identified, told police she saw Hollins take his life by jumping off the bridge at the Lake Theodore Roosevelt Dam between Gila and Maricopa counties.

“A lot of resources were wasted searching for his body, which clearly was not found because he was not dead,” Sheriff Mark Lamb said.

Hollins’ sex offender registration expired because he was allegedly “dead,” according to the sheriff’s office.

When he was found in Mesa, He had been living with a family with young children, who “had no idea about his history.”the sheriff’s office wrote.

Lamb explained Hollins’ arrest in a brief video posted on Facebook on Thursday.

“Nice try, Benjamin. We found you. You are not dead. We will hold you accountable,” Lamb said in the video.

Hollins is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

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