HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. – U.S. District Judge Brian J. Davis has sentenced James Allen Shook, 49, Weeki Wachee, to 20 years in federal prison 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 February 11, 2021.
According to court documents, on January 24, 2020, Shook posted an online classified ad stating that he was seeking “young horny girls” for sex, “first timers welcome!” and “all ages welcome!”
On the same day, a special agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), acting in an undercover capacity posing as a 13-year-old girl, responded to the ad.
Despite learning that the “child” was 13, 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. Shook offered that the child could come live with him if she wanted.
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 stated that he had a sexual interest in children and that he searches the internet daily for child sexual abuse images, that it arouses him, and that he had searched for sexually explicit materials depicting children as young as 2 years old.
Shook also admitted that he had displayed his penis 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.
This case was investigated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly S. Karase.
This is another case brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.
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Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.