More than a year after a kidnapped Minnesota teen named Jasmine Block made a daring escape from her captors, the man behind the crime has been sentenced.
Thomas Jay Barker (pictured above, far left), a 33-year-old from Carlos and one of three men charged in the case, learned his fate in a Douglas County District Court on Friday.
He was sentenced to just under 24 years in prison, a term that will be comprised of three separate sentences – including felony kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct – to be served at the same time, KSTP reports.
The station says he had pleaded guilty to the counts against him.
According to the Echo Press, Jasmine's mother spoke in court at the sentencing, reading a letter from her daughter which said, “Dear Thomas, I think you’re sick. You make me sick to my stomach. My life will never be the same…”
She also said that she had known and trusted Barker for a long time until he "used that trust... to lure (Jasmine) into his vehicle the night she disappeared," the news outlet notes.
The two other suspects in the case, Thomas Holby and Steven Powers, have yet to be sentenced.
Jasmine went missing outside her home in Alexandria on the night of Aug. 8, 2017, prompting a large-scale search and offers of cash rewards – which at one point reached $7,000 – for information.
As it was later revealed, she was driven to Barker's home in Carlos, bound with zip ties, and was "repeatedly assaulted" and threatened with weapons over the next several weeks.
Her captors apparently moved her from place to place, including a foreclosed property in Grant County – where she made her escape.
The girl managed to get help after running door to door and swimming across part of Thompson Lake to a residential area, finally finding a man who called 911 for her.
She had been gone for 29 days, and was treated for minor injuries.