Police lure man accused of molesting 15-year-old


BENNINGTON -- State Police said they used a fake Facebook profile to pose an underage girl in order to lure a man who had fled from them earlier over allegations he used social media to lure and molest a 15-year-old.

Jonathan D. Tobin, 25, is scheduled to appear in Vermont Superior Court on Tuesday to answer a number of felony charges. State Police say he is a habitual offender, meaning if he picks up a new felony conviction he could face up to life in prison.

According to Vermont State Police Detective Robert Zink, in June a 15-year-old female told police she had exchanged Facebook messages and texts with Tobin. They went for a walk, where he preformed a sex act on her.

On July 3, Bennington Police went to arrest Tobin but he fled from them on foot and escaped. State Police then created a mock Facebook page and through it posed as a 14-year-old girl. Police said Tobin sent sexual messages and pictures to this account, proposing that he meet the fictional girl for sex. Police arranged the meeting for 10 a.m. Monday near the Bennington Recreational Center off Gage Street. Tobin was arrested there without incident.

Tobin is being held at the Rutland jail without bail until he can be arraigned.


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