Indictment adds charges for ex-trooper accused of attempted sex abuse

Vance Peronto, 57, covered his face in Anchorage Jail Court on Monday, April 30, 2018. Peronto, an Alaska State Trooper, is charged with attempted sexual abuse of a minor. (Casey Grove/Alaska Public Media photo)

A former Alaska State Trooper charged with attempted sexual abuse of a juvenile has now also been indicted for alleged exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography.

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Vance Peronto, 57, was still a trooper and based in Soldotna when he was initially arrested last month. Peronto is no longer employed by the troopers, but the agency refuses to say how his employment ended.

On Thursday, a grand jury indicted Peronto on the attempted sexual abuse charge and added eight new felony counts of exploitation and possession of child pornography.

According to the initial charging document, it all started with a traffic stop.

Prosecutors say Peronto pulled over a 16-year-old girl, let her go with a warning and later struck up a relationship with her through social media. He’s accused of soliciting nude photos and videos from the girl before arranging to meet up with her at a hotel.

According to the charges, Peronto showed up in his trooper vehicle with underwear he’d bought for the girl. But his fellow troopers and Anchorage police officers were there instead and arrested him.

In a written statement Friday, prosecutors said that investigators later found the photos and videos during a forensic examination of the victim’s computer device and online account, the basis for the new charges.

Court records show Peronto paid $5,000 and obtained a bond to bail out of jail earlier this month. His next court hearing, an arraignment, is set for Wednesday.