Lebanon police make another arrest in cyber-sex sting

  • Daniel Dudek (Lebanon Police photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, March 14, 2019

LEBANON — The Lebanon Police Department has filed charges against a fourth man in about a month who allegedly thought he was meeting with a child in the city for sex acts but found officers waiting instead. 

Police said they engaged in a conversation on social media Wednesday with Daniel Dudek, 49, of Lexington, Mass., who allegedly drove to Lebanon to meet two juveniles, according to a news release issued on Thursday.

Instead, Dudek met police officers and was arrested on charges that included attempted felonious sexual assault, computer services prohibited and attempted manufacturing of child sexual abuse images.

Beginning on Feb. 11, police arrested Nathan Malmquist, 40, of Lebanon, Jason Bessent, 37, of Windsor and David Hunt Sr., 47, of White River Junction, in connection with charges that they allegedly attempted to meet with a person whom they thought was a juvenile for sex acts.

All of the men have pleaded not guilty to the allegations.

Lebanon police Lt. Richard Smolenski on Thursday declined to divulge the department’s specific tactics in these most recent cases because of ongoing investigations, but said in certain instances, members of Lebanon’s Cyber Crimes Unit will make a fake post as “bait” and then engage in conversations with people who respond to those posts. The department can also investigate such cybercrimes as when a suspect looks up an image depicting sexual abuse that has been flagged by authorities.

The department has a few officers who are dedicated to the Cyber Crimes Unit and investigate components of all cyber-related crimes. The national Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, or ICAC, helped train the officers, said Smolenski. He oversees Lebanon’s unit, which was formally created about two years ago. 

With the advancement of technology, investigating cyber crimes can be technical and difficult. Arresting individuals who seek to victimize children is important, he said.

“It is probably one of the most egregious crimes out there,” Smolenski said. “I can’t think of any crime more horrifying to society than these types of crimes.”

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.