State Trooper convicted of attempted sexual abuse of a minor

Alaska State Troopers logo.

Alaska State Troopers logo.

KENAI — Vance Peronto, formerly an Alaska State Trooper based in Soldotna, was convicted Friday of one count of attempted sexual abuse of a minor in the second degree.

According to a news release from the Department of Law, Peronto was arrested and charged with attempted sexual abuse of a minor in April 2018. Early that month, Peronto pulled over a 16-year-old girl for driving without her headlights on. He did not issue a citation, and later contacted the girl via social media.

Peronto was arrested by Alaska State Troopers and the Anchorage Police Department after he tried to set up a rendezvous with the girl in an Anchorage hotel room. The release says that evidence presented in a two week trial established that Peronto took a “substantial step” towards engaging sexually with the minor while occupying a position of authority.

The jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict on the count of attempted sexual abuse, but was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on two counts of possession of child pornography, the release says. The trial was presided over by Superior Court Judge Andrew Peterson.

A sentencing date has not been set. Peronto will face between 2 and 12 years in custody, according to the release.

“The Alaska State Troopers cannot allow anyone, especially a law enforcement officer, to abuse their power and violate the trust of the community as Vance Peronto did. The prosecution of this former State Trooper sends a clear message that no one is above the law, and we will not tolerate any criminal activity within our ranks,” Alaska Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Cockrell said in the release.

Another Soldotna-based Alaska State Trooper, Benjamin Strachan, was charged with seven counts of sexual abuse of a minor in October 2021, according to previous Clarion reporting. That case is ongoing.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of July 13

Here’s what to expect this week.

A memorial started on Front Street in downtown Juneau for 35-year-old Juneau resident Steven Kissack, who was experiencing homelessness, grows on Thursday with food donations and suicide hotline information. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
As the death investigation of Steven Kissack begins, special prosecution office explains its process

Reviews can be lengthy, information limited to ensure due process, Department of Law leaders say

In this screenshot from a streamed court hearing, Attorney Thekla Hansen-Young (bottom right) speaks in front of a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 18, 2024, in San Francisco. (Screenshot)
Federal appeals court appears unlikely to halt Southeast Alaska king trolling for now

A lower-court order that could stop fishing has been placed on hold since last year.

Bulk food in Food Bank of Alaska’s Anchorage warehouse on April 21, 2023. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, July 16, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Monday, July 15, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Getty Images)
Peltola leads Republican challengers in latest fundraising report for Alaska U.S. House race

The initial version of this article failed to include donations to candidates… Continue reading

Trees float down Mendenhall River on July 17, 2024. (Jasz Garrett / Juneau Empire)
Suicide Basin fills from heavy rain, but expert says release of water does not appear imminent

Rate of rise increases to about 50 feet per week, but rain expected to slow

Most Read