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North Las Vegas man sentenced in underage sex case

A North Las Vegas man who sexually assaulted an Arizona teenager and hid her in his bedroom was ordered Tuesday to serve 16 more years in federal prison.

“Me and her had a prior relationship for a whole year. We just talked and we built this connection,” Jimmy Carter Kim, 32, said before he was sentenced. “Next thing we know, we meet up and I put myself into a situation that I shouldn’t have.”

Kim told U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware that he has taken responsibility for his actions. He blamed his drug use and his inability to cope after his mother’s death. But he didn’t want to make excuses, he said.

“I fell in love with her,” he said of the victim. “I didn’t do anything to be malicious. I wasn’t trying to kidnap her. I wasn’t trying to be a bad guy.”

Kim initially faced charges of kidnapping, sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography, but he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of children.

Boulware said that he had trouble accepting the plea deal that let Kim combine both his federal sentence with the 10-to-25 years plus lifetime supervision he received from District Judge Mary Kay Holthus after pleading guilty in April to two counts of attempted sexual assault of a minor under 16.

“What happened deserves serious punishment,” Boulware said.

After prison, Kim will also face a new psychiatric evaluation and federal supervision for 36 years, and he will be banned from contact with children.

Kim originally faced a total of 83 counts and pleaded guilty in both cases.

Police arrested Kim in December 2015 after a 14-year-old runaway from Bullhead City, Arizona, called 911 to report being kidnapped and locked in his bedroom for about a month, court records show.

The investigation sparked an FBI search to identify more victims.

The girl told police that she thought Kim was giving her a ride to her friend’s house. Instead, he took her to his home in North Las Vegas, where she was only let out to shower with him or use the bathroom.

At one point, he showed her a firearm and threatened to shoot her if she left, court records show. When the girl escaped, she used scissors and a credit card to pry open the bedroom door.

“Our primary motivating factor in this negotiation was an effort to help the victim,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Burton told the judge. “And to avoid that potential retraumatization by reliving, everything that happened to her at the hands of the defendant.”

During the hearing, Kim also said that he had been the victim of violence by other inmates.

The judge agreed to ask prison officials to assign him to a facility that specializes in protecting sex offenders.

Contact Briana Erickson at berickson@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5244. Follow @ByBrianaE on Twitter.

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