was an LDS church member in Arizona; accused of sexual abuse; sentenced to prison in November 2023; failed to appear at his sentencing and went missing; reportedly planned to turn himself in in March 2024 on the condition that his $100k bail be returned to his family; arrested in April 2024 in Tucson, Arizona and extradited to Gilbert, Arizona

Case Summary

Paul Nelson was an LDS church member in Arizona. He was sentenced to prison for child sexual abuse.

Nelson failed to appear at his sentencing and was missing as of November 18, 2023.

He reportedly planned to turn himself in in March 2024 on the condition that his $100k bail be returned to his family.

Nelson was arrested in April 2024 in Tucson, Arizona and extradited to Gilbert, Arizona.

Sources
  1. Criminal court case record
    view source details | 17 Nov 2023 | Maricopa County, Arizona
  2. Gilbert police are looking for a man convicted of sex offenses involving children
    view source details | 17 Nov 2023 | 12 News (Arizona)
Sources excerpts
  • Criminal court case record
    Source type: Court record
    Publisher: Maricopa County, Arizona
    Date published/accessed: 17 Nov 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2
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    Gilbert police are looking for a man convicted of sex offenses involving children
    Source type: News article
    Publisher: 12 News (Arizona)
    Date published/accessed: 17 Nov 2023
    archive 1 | archive 2

    GILBERT, Ariz. — The Gilbert Police Department is seeking information about the whereabouts of a man convicted for sex offenses involving children, police said.

    Paul Nelson was convicted for sex offenses involving children on Nov. 15 stemming from a 2021 Gilbert police investigation. The judge issued a warrant for Nelson’s arrest after he failed to appear for the verdict, police said.

    Nelson is believed to be possibly armed and suicidal, according to police. The photo below depicts Nelson both with and without hair, police said he may or may not have hair currently.

    Police said Nelson could be traveling in one of two vehicles:

    - Gray 2010 Honda Accord with plate BEE9946
    - White 2003 Nissan Xterra with plate ATX4498

    The plates may have been changed or switched, police said.

    If you have any information regarding Nelson’s whereabouts, contact Gilbert Police at 480-503-6500.

    --

    [photo caption:] Paul Nelson was convicted on Nov. 15 for sex offenses involving children stemming from a 2021 Gilbert police investigation in 2021.

Mormon Sexual Abuse Map

International map of locations where active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated sexual abuse or other sex crimes, or where LDS leaders failed or allegedly failed to help abuse survivors.