Fmr. youth pastor extradited to TN after years of running from child rape indictment

Published: Sep. 4, 2015 at 1:10 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2015 at 9:42 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A former youth minister charged with rape was extradited to Shelby County on Thursday.

Luke Cooke was indicted on rape and aggravated sexual battery charges in 2007. Shelby County investigators said Cooke raped an 8-year-old and a 16-year-old.

Cooke then left the country. He was found in China, but when U.S. Marshals prepared to deport him back to the United States, he ran again.

In 2014, detectives learned that Cooke was in Morocco.  A few weeks later in April 2014, Interpol contacted the Shelby County Sheriff's Office to say they found Cooke in an airport in Albania with an expired passport.

U.S Marshals obtained a federal arrest warrant for Cooke, charged him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, and began the extradition process.

Thursday, Cooke arrived in Memphis, escorted by U.S. Marshals and Shelby County Sheriff's deputies.

Cooke is currently in custody in Shelby County.

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