A convicted sex offender will serve four years in prison for failing to register in Forsyth County.
Curtis Joe Motes, 27, pleaded guilty to the charge in Forsyth County Superior Court on Wednesday.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office began searching for Motes in March after he failed to register annually as required.
In July, the U.S. Marshals Service found him in West Virginia, from where he was returned to Forsyth County.
Motes, who was convicted of child molestation in 2006 in Hall County, said he “panicked” when his probation officer called him.
The officer told him if he didn’t get to her office by noon, she would take out a warrant, though the reason was unrelated to his registration requirements.
Motes said he couldn’t get there by noon, so he took off in fear of being put back in jail.
Assistant District Attorney Sandra Partridge said that’s when he left the state, which added on a second count of failure to register.
“His concern about not getting himself locked up got him locked up a whole lot longer,” Partridge said.
Motes’ attorney, Melissa Banker, said they discussed how the mistake could have been easily avoided.
Though Motes was offered a plea negotiation with probation terms, Banker said he elected to serve the time so his money wouldn’t have to go toward the fees and fines of probation and away from his two young children.