Nine-time convicted Hernando man gets 20 years for soliciting child for sex

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Published: May. 21, 2021 at 10:04 AM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WWSB) - A man from Hernando County with nine prior felony convictions for lewdness has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for attempting to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl for sex.

James Allen Shook, 49, of Weeki Wachee, was sentenced in U.S. District Court this week for attempting to entice or coerce a child to engage in sexual activity. The court also ordered Shook to serve a life term of supervised release and to register as a sex offender.

Shook had pleaded guilty on Feb. 11.

According to court documents, the case began in January 2020, when Shook posted an online classified ad stating that he was seeking “young girls” for sex. A special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, posing online as a 13-year-old girl, responded to the ad.

Shook arranged to travel to Clay County to engage in sex acts with the child. Shook also requested a nude photograph of the child and sent the child photographs of himself, including an explicit photo. When Shook arrived at what he believed was the child’s home, he was arrested by Homeland Security Investigations special agents.

In an interview with agents, Shook admitted he searched the internet daily for child sexual abuse images. Shook also admitted that he had displayed his genitals to underage girls in person hundreds of times. Shook has nine prior felony convictions in New Jersey for lewdness, including five for lewdness involving children under 13.

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