Soldotna trooper accused of attempted sexual abuse of a minor

Soldotna trooper accused of attempted sexual abuse of a minor

The Alaska State Trooper accused of trying to lure a 16-year-old he met at a traffic stop to a hotel room has been identified as a Soldotna officer.

Vance Peronto, 57, was charged Monday with attempted sexual abuse of a minor after investigators from the Alaska State Troopers were notified that Peronto had inappropriate contact with a 16-year-old girl, according to an Alaska Department of Public Safety release.

Investigators said Peronto pulled the girl over April 8 for driving without her headlights on, but did not issue a citation. He later contacted the girl on social media and started a social relationship.

The girl and her family gave troopers permission collect electronic evidence pertinent to the case. Peronto was arrested Sunday by troopers and Anchorage Police Department officers after he tried to set up a rendezvous with the girl in an Anchorage hotel room, investigators reported.

Peronto, a 16-year trooper veteran, has been with the Soldotna post since November 2015, said Megan Peters, Alaska State Trooper public information officer, in an email.

Peters said she could not comment on Peronto’s employment status.

I cannot provide details regarding the ongoing personnel matter as personnel matters are confidential per state law,” Peters said.

The Alaska Department of Public Safety announced the arrest Monday.

“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 in the release. “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.”

Peronto was taken to the Anchorage Correctional Complex and charged with one count of second-degree attempted sexual abuse of a minor. He was arraigned Monday in Anchorage. The investigation is ongoing, according to the news release.

Reach Erin Thompson at ethompson@peninsulaclarion.com.

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