Facing new charges of exploitation and child porn possession, former Alaska State Trooper pleads not guilty
A now-former Alaska State Trooper
is facing additional accusations, including felony charges of unlawful exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography.
Vance Peronto, 57, was in court Tuesday after being officially indicted May 24 for those charges stemming from his alleged conduct involving a 16-year-old girl.
Court documents show that an Anchorage grand jury indicted the AST veteran on the one original count of attempted sexual abuse of a minor, as well as four counts of unlawful exploitation of a minor and four counts of possessing child pornography.
Peronto had reportedly pulled the teenager over in Kenai on April 8 for driving without headlights on, let her off with a warning, then reportedly messaged her on Facebook and added her as a friend on the social media site.
After numerous sexually explicit exchanges between the two, Peronto was eventually caught in a sting when he arrived - in his patrol car - at a local hotel where he intended to meet up with the girl.
Tuesday afternoon, Peronto appeared in court for his arraignment. While at least two witnesses were present via phone conference, they were not asked to provide testimony. This is a common occurrence in arraignment proceedings: At such hearings, charges are generally read to the defendant, and his or her bail conditions are reviewed by the court. Peronto pleaded not guilty to all charges. He remains out of custody at this time after posting a $5,000 bail.
While Peronto also faces a maximum sentence of 99 years for each of all of the offenses indicted by the grand jury since they are felony sex offenses, Dept. of Law officials said Tuesday that it is unlikely Peronto will face anything beyond the presumptive terms: The presumptive term of imprisonment for five of the counts charged - felony class C offenses - is two to 12 years of imprisonment each, and the presumptive term of imprisonment for four of the counts charged - the felony class B offenses - is five to fifteen years of imprisonment each.
Peronto's scheduled trial week is scheduled for early August.