By Joe Johnson
A Cobb County man has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for kidnapping a 12-year-old girl from her home in Barrow County four years ago.
U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia Ryan Buchanan said that James Anthony Reynolds, 25, of Acworth received his sentence after having pleaded guilty to a kidnapping charge on Nov. 1.
Buchanan said Reynolds and the girl met through a social media app in May 2020 prior to Reynolds picking up the girl in the early morning hours of May 7, sexually assaulted her and then in the parking lot of a Walmart in Chattanooga, TN, where an employee helped to contact her parents.
According to Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith,
Reynolds drove nearly 70 miles from his home in Acworth to the child’s home in Bethlehem.
“He lured her out of the home, she climbed out of a window, gets in a car with him and he drugs her,” Smith explained.
Reynolds then drove the child back to his home, where the sheriff said he sexually assaulted her. He then drove the girl to the Walmart in Chattanooga.
The crossing of state lines is what made the kidnapping a federal crime.
“No prison sentence can repair the damage James Anthony Reynolds has done," the prosecuting U.S. attorney said.
Smith praised the work of law enforcement partners that helped bring Reynolds to justice.
“As Sheriff I am very proud of the work the other agencies did to catch this predator and get him off the streets so that no one else could possibly fall victim to his crimes,” he said.