(CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO) — A 61-year-old former Altamont karate instructor has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty in federal court to taking a 13-year-old girl across state lines into Missouri where he had sex with her. Steve Larson pleaded guilty in US District Court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri in October to a violation of the Mann Act, in that he transported the girl across state lines for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. The maximum possible sentence for the offense was 10 years. Last January 30, the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department requested the assistance of the Illinois State Police in investigating a report of an abducted child. At the time, the girl had last been seen when her parents dropped her off with Larson, who was her karate instructor. Larson’s vehicle was later found at the Amtrak station in Effingham and an Amber Alert was issued for the girl. Larson was then charged in Effingham County with two counts of kidnapping. Larson and the girl were found the next day at a motel in Sikeston, Missouri. Under questioning, both Larson and the girl acknowledged they had had sex. Larson is still charged in Effingham County with unlawful restraint and obstructing justice, along with indecent solicitation of a child.

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