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California man sentenced for kidnapping Idaho girl

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A California man convicted of kidnapping an 11-year-old Idaho girl could be released from prison after five to seven months if he successfully completes a treatment program.

Third District Judge Randall Grove on Tuesday sentenced Brian Sangjoon Lee to up to 10 years in prison, but retained jurisdiction and said Sangjoon could be released from prison and placed on probation before 2023 if he completes the Idaho Department of Correction program, the Idaho Statesman reported.

Lee pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping in exchange for prosecutors reducing the charge from first-degree kidnapping. Second-degree kidnapping carries a maximum penalty of up to 25 years in prison.

Prosecutors said the 20-year-old Lee traveled from a Los Angeles suburb to Idaho in August 2021 after making arrangements with the girl through an online gaming program. The child was found at a Nampa hotel after police searched her cell phone and found she'd been in communication with Lee's California phone number.

Deputy Canyon County Prosecutor Shari Dodge said Lee took the girl after she told him that she was being abused by her family. Lee's defense attorney, Michael Jacques, said the child was lying about being abused.

Associated Press

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