HONESDALE - A defendant was sentenced Thursday to spend 28 months to 10 years in state prison on felony charges of failing to register as a sexually violent predator and flight to avoid apprehension, trial or punishment.

Jeffrey P. Banks, 28, of Berlin Township, pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced in Wayne County court by President Judge Raymond Hamill.

The defendant had previously been incarcerated in Lackawanna County on charges of possessing obscene/sexual materials, according to court records.

Upon his release he failed to register as a sex offender under Meghan's Law, which requires authorities to make information available to the public regarding registered sex offenders.

Assistant Public Defender Ashley Zimmerman told the court Banks did not register under Meghan's Law because he was embarrassed and didn't want the community to know about the sex crime.

But community members are entitled to know if they are living near a Meghan's Law offender, said Assistant District Attorney Deb Rothenberg.

The prosecutor said it had been revealed that Banks, after being paroled in Lackawanna County, had spent time with the young son of a neighbor who did not know about the defendant's sex crime.

When the woman found out, she was "mortified," Rothenberg told the court.

The judge noted that registering under Meghan's Law is not only important so neighbors know they are living near a sex offender, but also allows the probation department to keep tabs on the ex-convicts.

Banks did not address the court during his sentencing hearing Thursday.

In addition to not registering as a sex offender, Banks avoided authorities as they tried to take him into custody for not registering, court papers state.

According to paperwork filed by state police Trooper John Decker of the Honesdale barracks:

Authorities discovered in May 2014 that Banks had moved in with his girlfriend in Paupack Township and failed to notify his probation officer, a violation of Meghan's Law.

State police and federal marshals repeatedly tried to make contact with the defendant, but he avoided them.

Eventually authorities tracked down Banks, finding him hiding under floor boards, in a crawl space, at his girlfriend's home on Gumbleton Road near state Route 507.