Peronto pleads not guilty to new charges in teen's seduction
A former Alaska State Trooper has pleaded not guilty to new charges he now faces after he allegedly started having a relationship with a teenage girl he pulled over last month.
Vance Peronto, 57, was hit with new charges in the case last week of attempted sexual assault of a minor, plus four counts each of unlawful exploitation of a minor and possessing child pornography. On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty to the additional counts during a brief court appearance.
According to troopers, the father of a 16-year-old Peronto stopped when he was working out of the Soldotna post alerted authorities to the case. Prosecutors say Peronto had exchanged salacious text messages with the teen, including some including nude images of her.
Former state prosecutor Florina Altshiler came forward in the wake of the charges, saying Peronto had flirted with her in text messages at a 2014 training session and sent her texts promising that he would “enjoy molesting” her.
Peronto has been out on bail in the case. Judge Kevin Saxby set a pretrial conference for June 16, with his trial tentatively scheduled for Aug. 6.
Scott Gross contributed information to this story.
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