Soldier gets 12 years for sex with girl, staged kidnapping

James Murdock Peele (Photo: Craven County Sheriff's Office)

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.

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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.