A Somerset man who was accused last month of soliciting a minor for sex has been handed a four-count indictment by the Pulaski County Grand Jury.
Hank William Abbott, 50, is facing charges of Human Trafficking (Victim under 18 years of age), Solicitation for Use of a Minor Under 16 in a Sexual Performance, Solicitation for Promoting a Sexual Performance by a Minor Under 16 years of age, and Solicitation for first-degree Unlawful Transaction with a Minor Under 16.
The charges stem from a July 13 incident investigated by Somerset Police Detective Larry Patterson. Following Abbott's arrest on July 17, several residents of the Oak Lawn subdivision in Somerset told the Commonwealth Journal that Abbott was in their neighborhood, trying to lure young girls to his vehicle.
This is not Abbott's first brush with the law. In 1988, Abbott was charged with the first-degree criminal attempt to commit the rape of a 4-year-old child and received a pre-trial diversion. In 1999, Abbott was charged in a 1994 arson and murder case but the charges were dismissed in 2001. In 2018, Abbott served a year on cases in Pulaski and Lincoln counties on the attempted prohibited use of an electronic communications system to procure a minor for a sex offense.
For this latest indictment, filed Tuesday, bond has been set at $65,000 cash or property. At press time, Abbott remained lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center.
The indictment of a person by a grand jury is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty or otherwise pleads guilty.