BENNINGTON, Vt. – Police arrested a Bennington man for allegedly attempting to lure a child.
The Vermont State Police began an investigation into an alleged sexual contact with a minor in June 2014.
The 15-year-old female victim contacted police and provided a statement. The victim was lured via Facebook and text messages by 25-year-old Jonathan Tobin, according to police.
Tobin allegedly went for a walk with the victim where he performed sexual acts on the victim. Police confirmed the victim’s statement by recovering text messages from her phone.
Police were ordered to locate Tobin on July 3 to arrest him on the charges of Lewd and Lascivious Conduct with a Child. A Bennington police officer located Tobin around 7:30 a.m. July 3 on Main Street in the city, but Tobin fled on foot while the officer attempted to take him into custody.
A Special Investigations Unit detective attempted to locate Tobin via the internet because of Tobin’s criminal record and being a flight risk. Police used a mock Facebook page to contact Tobin and pretended to be a 14-year-old female.
Police said Tobin began a Facebook message conversation with police who were pretending to be the teenage girl. Tobin sent sexually illicit messages and pictures to the mock Facebook page and propositioned the police to have sex, according to police.
Police arranged a meeting with Tobin at the Bennington Recreation Center off Gage Street in Bennington at 10 a.m. on July 7. Tobin agreed believing he was meeting with a 14-year-old girl to have sex, police said. Police took Tobin into custody without incident.
Tobin was processed and transported to the Marble Valley Correctional Center in Rutland, Vt. with his right to bail revoked. Police said Tobin has three prior felony convictions which makes the new felony charge a Habitual Offender violation, which holds a lifetime sentence.
Tobin has been charged with Lewd and Lascivious Conduct with a Child, Two Counts of Luring a Child, Attempted Sexual Assault of a Child, Resisting Arrest and Habitual Offender.
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