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Sabolick charged with felonies

A 56-year-old Lower Salem man was arrested Saturday and charged with multiple felony counts after transporting a teenager across state lines for sexual intercourse.

James A. Sabolick, of 7415 Germantown Road, was traveling southbound on Interstate 77 near mile post 1 when he was pulled over in a traffic stop.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office reported the patrolman from the Marietta Police Department advised when he approached the vehicle, he observed what he thought was someone hiding in the back seat.

Sabolick denied anyone was in the back seat, however the individual was eventually identified as a teenager from West Virginia. The Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force was advised and responded to the scene.

Sabolick was transported to the Washington County Jail, where he was charged with obstructing official business and improper signal.

The juvenile was interviewed by investigators and admitted she snuck out of her residence approximately five times, maybe more, to have sex with Sabolick. She said earlier in the evening, Sabolick picked her up again and took her to a cabin in Washington County.

She reported she had sexual intercourse with Sabolick, as well as other sexual acts.

When Sabolick was transported to the jail, he was read his Miranda Rights. He confirmed he “went down and got her,” but insisted everything done was consensual. He had also taken and received nude photographs of the juvenile.

Charges were filed on Sabolick of second-degree felony pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, fifth-degree felony possession of criminal tools, and fifth-degree felony interference with custody/taking the child across state lines.

He appeared in Marietta Municipal Court on Monday and was being held on $51,000 plus personal recognizance bond.

The Southeastern Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force is part of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s Organized Crime Investigations Commission and is comprised of representatives of the Washington, Noble, Morgan, Monroe, Athens, and Meigs County Sheriff’s Offices, the Marietta and Athens City Police Departments, the Marietta College Police Department, and the Washington, Noble, Morgan, Monroe, and Athens County Prosecutor’s Offices.

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