GREENEVILLE - A registered Georgia sex offender who kidnapped a Hawkins County teenager last summer has been sentenced to life in prison plus five years at a federal court ruling in Greeneville on Thursday.
Judge Leon Jordan accepted the sentencing guidelines pushed for by federal prosecutors for Benjamin Shook, 42, who was captured in Smyth County, Va., after he was on the run for a 16-day period with a then 14-year-old girl.
The girl stole her stepfather's truck, and drove to Morristown to meet up with Shook in June 2015 after the two exchanged messages over the internet. The two traveled hundreds of miles during the 16-day period.
Shook received the life sentence for four counts of kidnapping and the five-year sentence for violation of the Adam Walsh Act, which prohibits sex offenders from unregistered travel.
In her sentence recommendation, U.S. Attorney Nancy Stallard Harr said a lifetime sentence was needed for Shook for crimes and conduct that she called "every parent's nightmare."
U.S. Marshals classified Shook as a sexual predator.
Shook had previously pleaded guilty to a state charge of rape of a minor in Smyth County, Va., and received a 23-year sentence.
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