ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - An Alaska State Trooper charged with attempted sexual abuse of a minor allegedly came to a hotel room to meet the teen with Victoria’s Secret panties he’d said he’d buy for her. Explicit messaging between the two had been going on for three weeks.
Charging documents against Trooper Vance Peronto, a 16-year-veteran of the Alaska State Troopers, say he pulled over a 16-year-old girl in Kenai on April 8, for driving without headlights. The girl was let off with a warning, but the next morning, Peronto reportedly messaged the girl on Facebook and added her as a friend.
The contact began a series of messages that became flirtatious at first. When Peronto asked the girl how old she was, and she said she was 16, his response was “WOOOW Gulp,” before he told the girl he was 57.
Still, Peronto allegedly gave the girl his cell phone number and said if she ever needed a “hand, boot, a back or your personal Trooper, Use Me, All Yours at Your Service.”
The charging documents say that over the next several days, the online conversation continued, and escalated to explicit sexual comments, talk of explicit sexual acts the two could perform on each other, and the girl sending the trooper several videos and photographs – requested by him as “training” videos, and “pics, pics, pics.” In one, the girl appeared to be nude, or just wearing a pair of “panties” – the undergarments being a frequent topic of discussion between the two.
On April 12, just four days after the girl was originally pulled over, Peronto allegedly sent the girl a message intended to end the sexual-based interaction.
Charging documents quote that message as saying:
“DON’T DO THIS VANCE!!!! STOP NOW. THIS GIRL/young lady is 16 Vance. You’re wrong Vance if you even begin to think you’ll avoid, fight off, stop, not make love with her. IT’LL HAPPEN and then your life as you know it will be over. Everything you have gone. Dignity Integrity all of whom I am as a man who Loves God more than anything will be erased. I’m sorry [VICTIM] I’ve got to put a stop to this. There’s nothing in us that’s worth. You’re not worth my career or 10-20 yrs in jail. Hell no. It’s not your secret. And if it was I wouldn’t trust you as far as I could throw you hon.”
The girl replied, saying she was disappointed, and asked Peronto to take it easy on her if he pulled her over again. Then, Peronto reportedly said he’d like to meet the girl for a movie night.
Over the next several days, charging documents say the two continued to discuss the options for the “movie night,” including that it would take place at Peronto’s home in his bedroom, and that “everything would need to stay inside his boxers.” Peronto told the girl he had ordered three pairs of Victoria’s Secret panties for their movie night, and the girl allegedly sent the trooper more sexual videos.
The charging documents say after several more days of messaging, Peronto told the girl he was frustrated because he thought she was only “teasing” him, though he again gave her his home address and phone number.
The girl’s father then found out about the messages and called Alaska State Troopers.
Sunday, April 29, Peronto was in Anchorage for a training event, he messaged the girl and told her he would go to the Victoria’s Secret store to buy her “pantie.” The girl said that she was also in Anchorage with her father, and had her own hotel room. She told Peronto that her father was going out with friends and she would be alone at the hotel.
Peronto then agreed to meet the girl and showed up at the hotel in his patrol vehicle.
He went to the room he believed the girl was in and knocked on the door, he was then arrested by Troopers and Anchorage Police.
The charging documents say Peronto had one pair of Victoria’s Secret underwear with him at the time.
Peronto faces one charge of second degree attempted sexual abuse of minor by an authority figure.
In court Monday, Peronto hid his face behind documents. He is eligible for bail, if he can post $5,000 appearance and performance bonds. If he makes bail, he'll be required to stay on full-time house arrest. He's also prohibited from contacting the alleged victim, and must stay off of social media, including Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram.
According to Monday's court hearing, the single charge, a class C felony, carries a maximum sentence of 99 years, but the presumptive range is 2-12 years.
Paul Miovas, chief of the state’s Office of Special Prosecutions, says Peronto is only charged with offenses for which there is probable cause currently, but says the matter is still under investigation.
Colonel Hans Brinke, Alaska State Troopers Director, said in a release that, “This case and the investigation have been handled in the same manner as any other and we are informing the public of these developments today to maintain transparency.”
Channel 2's Tracy Sinclare and Jill Burke also contributed to this report.