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Ohio man arrested for having sexual contact with a minor

Published: Jul. 24, 2021 at 7:10 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ohio (WTAP) -

A Lower Salem man was arrested July 24 after admitting to having sexual contact with a 17-year-old juvenile.

Fifty-six-year-old James Sabolick was pulled over by the Marietta Police Department southbound on interstate 77 for a lane violation.

According to an affidavit of facts from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the patrolman on the scene approached the vehicle and observed what he thought was someone hiding in the back seat.

After identifying the juvenile, contact was made to the Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force.

The juvenile, who resides in Walker, West Virginia, advised she had snuck out of her residence to meet up with Sabolick on multiple occasions, and that night, Sabolick picked her up and took her to a cabin in Washington County.

“He became a family friend years ago,” said Kelly McGilton of the Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force. “The sexual contact didn’t start until later on in the teens, but definitely is a grooming - part of the family, okay she trusted him.”

Possible nude photographs of the juvenile and other possible photographs of other juveniles of Filipino descent were found on Sabolick’s cell phone. He was then transported to Washington County Jail.

Sabolick is charged with Pandering Sexually Oriented Matter Involving a Minor, a second-degree felony, Possession of Criminal Tools, a fifth-degree felony, and Interference with Custody/Taking the Child Across State Lines, a fifth-degree felony.

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