Former youth minister sentenced for molesting 2 young boys - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former youth minister sentenced for molesting 2 young boys

Luke Cooke (Source: SCSO) Luke Cooke (Source: SCSO)

A former Memphis youth minister captured last year in Albania pleaded guilty to molesting two young boys between 2003 and 2006.

Luke Cooke, 34, was sentenced to 11.5 years in prison for rape and aggravated sexual battery.

Cooke will be placed under community supervision for the rest of his life and placed on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Ireland said Cooke also pleaded guilty previously to transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity involving a child.

Tuesday, Cooke pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old boy in January 2003 and fondling an 8-year-old boy in May 2006. Both crimes occurred in Memphis while he was a youth minister.

The District Attorney’s Office said Cooke fled to China in 2006 after allegations of sexual misconduct arose. They said he traveled through Morocco, Spain, and elsewhere before he was captured in Albania and later extradited back to Memphis.

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