A Palmyra man accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl after soliciting her on Facebook was arrested Thursday night and is facing four criminal charges, according to police.

Jacob Vanadestine, 36, is charged with class C solicitation of a child to commit a prohibited act, class B unlawful sexual contact, class C sexual misconduct with a child under 12 years of age and class D unlawful sexual touching, according to a news release Friday from Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster.

Lancaster said in an interview that Vanadestine knew the girl’s family and the contact with the girl was continued through Facebook and text message.

Lancaster would not say for how long the two had been in communication but said that a sexual assault on the girl had taken place before a family member recently reported the relationship to police.

“This is a reminder that there are predators in our society that target our children,” Lancaster said. “It’s extremely important parents know what conversations their children are having and who they are talking to on their social media accounts and in texting.”

Vanadestine was arrested around 5:45 p.m. Thursday at a location where he was scheduled to meet with the victim, Lancaster said. He would not disclose the location.

Vanadestine is being held at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

The case remains under investigation and is being worked on by the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office and Detective Jeremy Leal, of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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