Convicted Utah sex offender found in Mexico after 6 years on the lam

By Erin Alberty

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: February 18, 2014 07:41PM
Updated: February 18, 2014 08:21PM
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| Courtesy Santos Ismael Hinojos

Utah investigators have found a convicted sex abuser who was hiding in Mexico after he fled Lehi six years ago.

Santos Ismael Hinojos, 49, was convicted in February 2008 of sexually abusing a girl who was about 8 or 9 at the time, Utah County sheriff’s deputies wrote in a press release on Tuesday.

However, he was allowed to remain free on bail after the trial, and he disappeared before his April 2008 sentencing. Lehi police and sheriff’s deputies worked with U.S. Marshals and police in Baja California, Mexico, where authorities received an anonymous tip that Hinojos was living there. Officers arrested Hinojos on Jan. 22 in Ensenada, Baja California.

He was taken to the Utah State Prison on Feb. 6 to begin serving his sentence. In 2008, he was sentenced in absentia to 5 years to life in prison for each of three first-degree felony counts of sodomy on a child.

ealberty@sltrib.com