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Text messaging built arrest in child solicitation case

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Hobart Day

By Joe Beck - jbeck@nvdaily.com

Text messaging and other online communications played key roles in the investigation that led to the arrest Tuesday of a 51-year old Woodstock resident on charges of attempted indecent liberties with a child and use of a communications device to solicit a child, town police said Friday.

Investigator Derek Good said the suspect, Hobart Day, came to his attention through an advertisement on Craig's List from someone identifying himself as a mature man seeking companionship from a younger male.

Craig's List "is one of the things we monitor" for adults seeking children for sexual activities, Good said.

Good said he responded by text message to the advertisement and in doing so identified himself as a 14-year-old male.

Good said he and Day continued to exchange messages for several days.

"At some point, it became sexual in nature," Good said of the text messaging, adding that Day said he wanted to meet the person with whom he was chatting.

Good said he agreed, through his 14-year-old online persona, to meet with Day at a specific location. Good declined to identify the location, but said the entire investigation was centered in Woodstock.

Good said the purpose of the meeting was to advance the possibility of sexual activity, a subject broached by Day in their social media conversations.

Day was arrested at the meeting place and charges filed against him. He is scheduled to appear in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court on Aug. 2.

Good said a search warrant executed at Day's house a few hours later revealed "nothing of value" in aiding the investigation.

Good also said Day's occupation involved the "car business" but there are no signs he interacted extensively with children in his work or hobbies.

Good said no child was victimized at any point during the social media interactions involving him and Day, but the investigation is continuing to determine if Day committed any illegal acts against a real child.

Good asked that anyone with any information that might contribute to the case to contact him at 459-2141.

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