Explicit texts nets man at least four years probation

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BENNINGTON — A local man who admitted to exchanging sexually explicit text messages and pictures with an underage girl has been sentenced to four years probation.

Michael S. Sousis, 29, pleaded guilty in Vermont Superior Court Bennington Criminal Division in October 2016 to felony attempted luring of a child for sexual exploitation.

Judge William D. Cohen, at a sentencing hearing Tuesday, gave Sousis, of Bell Street, a suspended sentence with a minimum of three years and maximum of five years.

Among Sousis' special probation conditions is that he register as a sex offender and complete a treatment program.

Sousis was arraigned in November 2015 after Vermont State Police said Sousis was exchanging text messages and pictures with a then 14-year-old girl. Troopers investigated after learning of the text messages that September, according to court documents. Troopers recovered text messages and the girl verified they were the messages exchanged. She said she never had physical contact with Sousis.

Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, the state dismissed felony charges of sexual exploitation of a child and promoting sexual recordings.

Reach staff writer Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.

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