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California man sent to prison for kidnapping 11-year-old Idaho girl

Brian Sangjoon Lee enticed the 11-year-old online before coming to Idaho.
Credit: Canyon County Jail

CALDWELL, Idaho — A California man who police say enticed an 11-year-old Nampa girl through an online gaming program is going to prison, but how much time he spends behind bars will depend on whether he completes a treatment program.

Judge Randall Grove on Tuesday sentenced Brian Sangjoon Lee to a total of 10 years in prison -- 2 years fixed and 8 years indeterminate -- but placed him in a one-year retained jurisdiction, or "rider," program. Lee also receives credit for 275 days served in jail. Once Lee completes the rider, the court will determine whether to sentence him to his full term, or place him on probation.

Lee, from Granada Hills, California, was 20 years old when he was arrested in August 2021 and charged with first-degree kidnapping. Under a plea agreement, that charge was dropped and Lee instead pleaded guilty in March 2022 to second-degree kidnapping.

The Canyon County Sheriff's Office began investigating the case after the 11-year-old victim had been reported as a runaway. Investigators found cell phone records showing the girl had frequently been communicating with a then-unknown person with a California phone number. Deputies and detectives found Lee and the girl at a California hotel.

Detectives who questioned Lee determined that he met the girl through an online gaming program before the two began communicating by phone calls and text messages. Eventually, the sheriff's office said, an agreement was made that Lee would travel to Idaho from the Los Angeles area to pick up the girl and take her to his home in California.

The Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has more information about keeping your children safe online. If you suspect a child you know is a victim of an internet crime, you can also submit a tip through the ICAC website.

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