- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 9, 2017

BRENTWOOD, N.H. (AP) - A former New Hampshire lawmaker was sentenced to three to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to charges of drug possession and trying to lure a 14-year-old girl over Facebook into a sexual encounter.

Kyle Tasker, 31, declined to speak in court. Authorities say he tried last year to lure an undercover police officer, posing as the girl. The Republican from Nottingham was in his third, two-year term when he resigned in March 2016.

Tasker was scheduled for trial this month. He can request that his prison time be shortened by six months if he completes a sex offender program.

A prosecutor on Tuesday thanked the girl for having the courage to come forward.

Police said their investigation began with a complaint from the teen’s mother in January 2016 saying the girl met Tasker at a breakfast, friended him on Facebook and began receiving inappropriate messages from him.

The mother told police he had asked the girl how old she was. When she replied 14, he responded, “girls like you can get me in trouble,” she said. She said he also said he could get alcohol or marijuana for the girl and proposed a three-way sexual encounter.

By the end of January, the girl and her mother agreed to the undercover operation and police took control of the girl’s Facebook account. Police say he tried to meet the girl, but instead was met by law enforcement officers.

In September, the state attorney general issued a report that Tasker smoked marijuana in the Statehouse and sold the drug to several other legislators, but there wasn’t enough evidence to charge them with drug crimes.

In November, Tasker, who was out on bail, was charged with drunken driving following a three-car accident.

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