NEW BERN, NC (AP) — A soldier who was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina has been sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison for taking a 12-year-old across state lines for sex after staging her kidnapping.
WRAL reports that Pvt. James Murdock Peele was sentenced on Tuesday. The 22-year-old was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade.
Authorities say the case began in 2018 when a woman in Craven County reported her granddaughter missing. She said she found a ransom note demanding $20,000.
Authorities said they tracked Peele down because he was listed as the girl’s boyfriend on Facebook.
FBI agents said the girl told them that Peele knew her age.