Trial postponed in alleged sexual predator case

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By Becky Barnes

The Dec. 10 trial for Thomas Vascotto was postponed after the Cynthiana man, charged as a sexual predator, changed attorneys.

Vascotto was arrested in Pennsylvania in early August following a sting by the Attorney General?s sexual predator forces. He allegedly tried to make contact with what he believed was a 13-year-old girl with whom he had been chatting online and was going to have sex. The ?victim? was a police officer.

A criminal complaint against Vascotto gives graphic details of Vascotto?s emails and telephone conversations of his intentions with the child.

In the days following Vascotto?s arrest, police also confiscated computers from his home and the Cynthiana Country Club where he worked in the Pro Shop.

According to Nils Frederiksen, deputy press secretary for the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, with the change of defense attorney comes the possibility for another pretrial conference. He said it was unlikely that the case would be heard before February.

?We?re ready to go,? Frederiksen said. ?It?s up to defense counsel.?

Frederiksen said he had no knowledge of why Vascotto changed attorneys.

Vascotto has been charged with one count of criminal attempted unlawful contact with a minor, a first degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. He is also charged with 33 counts of dissemination or possession of child pornography, 11 counts of attempted unlawful contact with a minor, 11 counts of obscene or sexual performances, and one count of criminal use of a computer, all third degree felonies, each punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine.