Man with Pima County molestation conviction dies in state prison custody

A man sentenced to life in prison in a 2022 Pima County child molestation case died Wednesday in the custody of Arizona state prison officials. Modesto Jimenez, 46, was pronounced dead at a hospital in Phoenix after being there nearly a month.

Jimenez was the ninth person to die in state prison custody in March.

Officials with the Arizona Department of Corrections Rehabilitation & Reentry did not detail why Jimenez was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. His prison record indicates he was taken to the hospital on February 28.

He was being held at the Arizona State Prison Complex in Phoenix, in the Baker Unit — the highest security section of that prison.

In March 2022, Jimenez was found guilty and sentenced to life behind bars, with no possibility of parole until serving at least 35 years of his sentence, for a 2019 crime of sexual conduct with a minor. He was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for a 2016 crime of attempting to commit molestation of a child.

Court records of the case were not immediately available online. Many cases involving sexual offenses against minors are sealed by the courts to protect the victims.

“All inmate deaths are investigated in consultation with the county medical examiner’s office,” prison officials said.

There are about 34,650 inmates in Arizona state prison facilities and private prisons, according to February figures. That figure does not include those held at county jails, in federal prison facilities, or immigration detention centers.

March 2024 Arizona prison deaths

As indicated by death notifications by state officials.

Inmate Age Date of death Prison location Conviction/year County
Linda Adam 61 March 1 ASPC-Perryville aggravated assault/2013 Maricopa County
James Walker 44 March 2 ASPC-Tucson aggravated assault, armed robbery, drugs/2018 Maricopa County
Joseph Lopez 61 March 5 ASPC-Tucson child molestation/2006 Yuma County
Gregory Jones 27 March 6 La Palma Correctional Center armed robbery/2022 Maricopa County
Richard Romar 94 March 7 ASPC-Tucson child molestation/2008 Mohave County
Alfonso Sisneros 69 March 9 ASPC-Phoenix assault with a deadly weapon/1979 Maricopa County
Herley Taylor 33 March 12 La Palma Correctional Center aggravated assault/2023 Maricopa County
Regina Moreno 73 March 16 ASPC-Perryville aggravated DUI/2024 Maricopa County
Modesto Jimenez 46 March 20 ASPC-Phoenix child molestation/2022 Pima County