Convict who escaped from Phoenix courthouse in 2009 extradited to Arizona after Mexico arrest

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PHOENIX — A convict who escaped from a Maricopa County courthouse during his 2009 trial on sexual assault charges has been extradited to Arizona.

U.S. Marshals Service officials say 34-year-old Adrian Cruz was returned Tuesday to a Phoenix jail.

Cruz was arrested April 27 in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, about 60 miles outside of Mexico City.

Prosecutors say Cruz was convicted in 2005 of raping a 9-year-old girl and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 35 years.

Cruz was linked to two other sexual assaults and was being tried when he slipped out of handcuffs and sneaked out of a court holding room on Feb. 17, 2009.

He went into the judge's empty chambers, changed clothes and walked out of the courthouse.

Cruz was convicted in absentia.

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