An Alaska State Trooper who attempted to meet up with a minor after he pulled her over for a traffic violation now faces an attempted sexual abuse of a minor charge, authorities say.

According to a release from troopers, Trooper Vance Peronto conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that was driving without its headlights on April 8. Peronto gave no citation to the 16-year-old driver and later made contact with the female through social media. 

"Peronto subsequently contacted the 16-year-old female via social media, and began establishing a social relationship," the release said. 

AST spokesperson Jonathon Taylor says the teen's father reported Peronto's contact with his daughter to the Office of Professional Standards last Thursday. 

The victim gave investigators consent to retrieve information from her social media account for evidence.

On Sunday, troopers, along with the Anchorage Police Department, set up a sting where he thought he was meeting up with the female victim at an Anchorage hotel. When Peronto arrived, he was arrested on one count of attempted sexual abuse of a minor in the second-degree. 

Taylor confirmed Peronto was a Soldotna-based trooper who pulled the victim over on the Kenai Spur Highway. He also added that the 16-year-old was not present at the hotel when Peronto was arrested. 

Peronto was formally the K-9 handler for retired drug dog "Kilo". Peronto talked to KTVA in October of 2015 about the German Shepard's 12 years of service

“This case and investigation have been handled in the same manner as any other, and we are informing the public of these developments today to maintain transparency,” Alaska State Troopers Director Colonel Hans Brinke said. “AST and the Department of Public Safety are committed to fulfilling our mission to protect the public, and staying accountable to the people of Alaska.”

AST will not comment on the status of Peronto's employment, saying "it's a personnel matter and those are confidential".

The investigation is ongoing. 

Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.

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