MOUNT VERNON — Two Mount Vernon men were indicted for sex crimes by Monday’s grand jury.
Colton Flynn, 22, Mount Vernon, was charged with one count of criminal child enticement, a first-degree misdemeanor, unlawful restraint, a third-degree misdemeanor, and gross sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor.
The charges stem from Nov. 27, 2019, the day before Thanksgiving during the holiday break. Flynn allegedly approached two underage girls near the Pleasant Street School playground, imploring their help to search for his lost dog.
Flynn reportedly sent one girl away on the search for said dog and took the alleged victim, who was 10 at the time, behind the playground where he proceeded to remove her shoes and socks. Flynn made contact with the victim’s feet in a manner believed to be for the purpose of sexual gratification.
The victim’s mother notified law enforcement after hearing about the incident from the victim. Flynn was identified and arrested by the police based on his license plate number caught on the school’s security camera.
Law enforcement believed that the lost dog did not exist; presumably it was only a ruse for Flynn to approach the girls.
The two girls, while underage, were above the legal age of 10 to competently testify and give statements, according to Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville.
Samuel Shaffer, 28, Mount Vernon, was indicted on one count of rape, a first-degree felony. Last November, Shaffer allegedly admitted to his probation officer about having sex with a woman while she was asleep and unable to consent.
Also charged on information obtained by probation, Jessica Ferenbaugh, 33, Mount Vernon, was indicted on two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, fourth- and fifth-degree felonies, five counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, third- and fourth-degree felonies.
During a routine probation check, Ferenbaugh was reportedly found to possess methamphetamine in her Mount Vernon residence. According to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Nicole Derr, this, along with the discovery of $401 in cash at the residence led to a search warrant on Ferenbaugh’s cellphone.
Based on information obtained from the cellphone, Ferebaugh was further charged with trafficking in drugs on five different occasions.
The content of a cellphone is not subject to warrantless arrest searches, according to the 2014 Supreme Court ruling of Riley v. California. While law enforcement may search the physical device under certain conditions while placing someone under arrest, police generally must obtain a warrant before searching the content — such as data and text messages — of a cellphone.
If a cellphone is password protected, law enforcement may attempt to unlock it. If the owner is asked about the password, state courts — while inconsistent — generally rule that the owner is protected under the Fifth Amendment to not give out their password.
Other indictments issued by Monday’s grand jury: Michael Ashcraft, 33, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth degree felony; Treton Flack, 24, homeless, aggravated possession of drugs, a second degree felony, aggravated trafficking in drugs, a fourth degree felony; Jason Hutton, 39, Mount Vernon, aggravated trafficking in drugs, a fourth degree felony, aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth degree felony; William Horner, 64, Mount Vernon, aggravated trafficking in drugs, a fourth degree felony.
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