Sex offender who grabbed girl, 4, at Tucson church faces prison

| December 4, 2009

A 57-year-old Tucson sex offender who was recently convicted of restraining a 4-year-old girl inside Santa Cruz Catholic Church is facing between 4 1/2 and 7 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to failing to change his address.

John Arthur Drusts will be sentenced by Pima County Superior Court Judge Howard Fell Jan. 11, said Deputy Pima County Attorney Bunkye Chi.

Drusts was arrested in March 2008 after witnesses told Tucson police he grabbed a 4-year-old child while her parents were helping serve breakfast at the church.

At the time of Drusts' arrest, Tucson police said Drusts was steps away from an alleyway and escape.
Drusts was charged with kidnapping, but in October a Pima County jury found him guilty of the less serious crime of unlawful imprisonment instead.

The jurors in that case couldn’t be told Drusts was a convicted sex offender or that he was also facing a trial for failing to register as a sex offender when he moved from Maricopa County to Pima County.

Drusts is facing a maximum sentence of six months in jail on the unlawful imprisonment charge. Had he gone to trial and been convicted on the registration charge, he would have been sentenced to somewhere between six and 15 years in prison.

Drusts was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape in 1979 in Los Angeles, sexual abuse in Corvallis, Ore., in 1987 and sexual assault in Yellowstone, Mont., in 1994, court documents indicate.

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Category: Church Security

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