Hendersonville Police: Sex offender arrested after avoiding law enforcement for 34 years


HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After 34 years of hiding from the law, a convicted Arizona child molester was arrested and registered as a sex offender in Tennessee.

According to Hendersonville Police, 74-year-old Ray Raymond moved to Hendersonville in 2016. The convicted sex offender was supposed to register with the state, but he did not.

Hendersonville Police said the senior citizen has failed to register with any law enforcement agency since he was convicted of sexually molesting a child in Arizona decades ago.

“It’s very unusual. I have never seen anything like this,” Sgt. Neal Harris said.

This case began in Maricopa County, Arizona, near Phoenix. That’s when investigators said Raymond was convicted of child molestation in 1983.

According to police, Raymond was put on the Maricopa County sex offender registry in 1987. Also around that time, according to investigators, Raymond stopped checking in with authorities and they lost track of him. Raymond was 40-years-old at the time.

“It’s been roughly 30 years that Mr. Raymond has been out there, undetected,” Harris said.

According to Harris, for the next 34 years, Raymond lived in various places around the country. He worked several jobs. Harris said by all accounts he lives a relatively normal life while staying off the radar of law enforcement.

According to Hendersonville Police, in 2016 Raymond moved into a home in Hendersonville.

Again, Harris said, Raymond made no effort to contact local law enforcement and remained under the radar.

On October 12, Harris said a law enforcement official with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Hendersonville Police Department and told them they had information that Raymond, a long-time absconder, was living in Hendersonville.

Harris said officers went to his home and he answered the door.

“We made contact with Mr. Raymond who has been living in various states throughout the country, carrying jobs, and living a normal life, not registering as he is supposed to with the sex offender registry. He was really cooperative. He said, it’s not fun being on the sex offender registry, and if he could avoid not having his neighbors know who he is and what he is on the registry for, he would rather not have it known to everyone. So he was hoping he could continue to go undetected. But it won’t be that way from this point forward.”

At this time it is not known how Raymond managed to stay off the sex offender radar for 34 years.

News 2 left a message for the sheriff of Maricopa County asking for a comment. So far we have not heard back.

According to Harris, there is no indication that the 74-year-old has gotten into trouble in the 34 years he has been off law enforcement radar.

Harris said it’s important to monitor sex offenders because they often re-offend.

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