Bethel man pleads not guilty in underage online sex sting by Lebanon police

  • Nicholi Vines (Lebanon Police photograph)

Staff Report
Published: 1/21/2021 10:07:43 PM
Modified: 1/21/2021 10:07:41 PM

NORTH HAVERHILL — A 30-year-old Bethel man has pleaded not guilty to charges he solicited sex online from someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl.

Nicholi Vines was arraigned in Grafton Superior Court on Wednesday on charges of prohibited uses of a computer, and attempted felonious sexual assault. He was ordered released on a $5,000 bond and instructed not to have contact with people under 18 and not to travel outside of New Hampshire or Vermont, according to court documents.

The charges stem from an undercover operation in September, when Lebanon police posed as a teen girl on the social media app Skout, according to an affidavit written by Lebanon Police Officer Eric Hunter.

Vines contacted the profile and carried on a conversation over text message, thinking he was communicating with a 15-year-old girl, according to police. The messages between Vines and the police continued for months, with Vines periodically sending pictures of himself flexing, and sexually explicit messages, the affidavit said.

On Tuesday police, posing as the girl, agreed to meet Vines on Market Street in West Lebanon and arrested him when he arrived.

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