Man admits to exposing self to child

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BENNINGTON — A local man has admitted to exposing himself to a child sometime in 2015.

Dakota Moretti, 27, whose last given address was in Pownal, pleaded guilty in Vermont Superior Court Bennington Criminal Division on Wednesday to felony lewd and lascivious conduct.

A contested sentencing is tentatively set to be held in December to determine the length and conditions of Moretti's probation, according to court documents. A plea agreement calls for a one-to-three year suspended split sentence, with one year to serve in prison.

The offense took place in Bennington between December 2014 and March 2015 and involved a now nine-year-old girl, according to an affidavit by Bennington police Dt. Anthony Silvestro.

Investigators spoke with the then six-year-old girl in August 2015, who described having been in the same room with Moretti when he exposed himself to her and then touched himself, and then asked her if she was going to tell her mother. The girl did not disclose the incident to family members until several months after it took place, according to the court affidavit. Family members told investigators that the girl had been acting out and was emotionally distressed when she told them about the incident.

Moretti, who has a criminal history in Massachusetts and New York, was arrested on a warrant in Vermont on Jan. 12. He's been held on $10,000 bail at Southern State Correctional Facility, Springfield.

In November 2015, Moretti pleaded guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court, North Adams, Mass. to charges of wanton destruction of property over $250, resisting arrest, disturbing the peace, breaking and entering in the nighttime for a felony, and domestic assault and battery, according to Berkshire Eagle archives. He was given a two-and-a-half-year jail sentence, with 30 days to be served and the balance suspended while he was on probation. The charges stemmed from an incident in August 2015 involving a violent altercation with North Adams police officers after Moretti entered an ex-girlfriend's apartment uninvited.

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

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