Rhode Island man sentenced to more than three years in prison for failing to register as a sex offender after being found in North Carolina

Published 9:17 am Saturday, December 31, 2022

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A Rhode Island man was sentenced December 8, 2022 to 37 months in prison for failing to register as a sex offender, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina.

According to court documents, Jerry Noel Diaz, 25, was charged with one count of failing to register as a sex offender. Diaz pleaded guilty to the charge on June 1, 2022.

“In 2014, Diaz was convicted of felony First Degree Child Molestation after forcibly raping an 11-year-old victim in Rhode Island. As part of the child molestation conviction, Diaz received a lifetime registration requirement under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA),” stated the press release. “In 2020, Diaz failed to register in Rhode Island, was arrested, released on bond, and instructed to report to probation. Diaz did not report to probation, instead choosing to flee, eventually making his way to North Carolina.

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“In April 2021, a lead was sent to the Carolinas Regional Task Force and, on April 15, 2021, after confirming that he had failed to register in North Carolina, Diaz was apprehended while hiding in the closet of a residence in Fayetteville,” the release continued. “After being arrested, Diaz admitted to having been in the Fayetteville area for more than 5 months and stated that he had been working with a youth group at a local church.”

Michael Easley Jr., U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The U.S. Marshals Service, Eastern District of North Carolina, Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, District of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island State Police investigated the case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Stephany prosecuted.