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Man, 21, arrested for sexual pandering, abduction

Courtney Astolfi • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:38 PM

An Erie County grand jury indicted Lance Blanton, 21, on charges of abduction, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a juvenile, corrupting another with drugs, assault and attempted felonious assault.

The charges stem from separate incidents involving a 17-year-old Huron girl and an 18-year-old Castalia woman.

The allegations first arose on July 19, when the Huron girl — at the behest of her parents — presented Erie County deputies with a myriad of complaints against Blanton.

The girl told deputies she was 16 years old when, over a period of months, she dated Blanton, according to a deputy’s report.

Earlier this year, however, Blanton gave her prescription pills and also had her purchase pills on his behalf, Erie County Sheriff’s Detective Nick Kotsopoulos said.    The girl also alleged Blanton tied her down in his garage when she began questioning their relationship. At one point, he threatened to drop a dumbbell on her and use a chainsaw to injure her, Kotsopoulos said.

In investigating the allegations, deputies obtained Blanton’s cell phone, which contained videos of Blanton and the girl engaged in consensual sexual acts, Kotsopoulos said. The video showed the two passing the phone back and forth as they recorded the encounters.

Deputies also seized Blanton’s laptop computer, which they sent to a Toledo crime lab for analysis.

They’re still awaiting those results, deputies said, and Erie County assistant prosecutor Mary Anne Barylski had originally told them to wait on the results before presenting the case to a grand jury for possible indictment.

Late last month, however, deputies learned of another alleged incident involving Blanton.

An 18-year-old Castalia woman told deputies that on Aug. 25, Blanton held her against her will in his home following an argument, according to a deputy’s report. He allegedly choked the woman, yanked her off the bed by her hair and threatened to use weightroom equipment to kill her and rape her, the report said.

The woman was forced to stay at Blanton’s home overnight because he seized her keys and cell phone, the report said. Not until her parents noticed red marks on her neck the following day did she come forward with the allegations.

Given that the alleged incident occurred while deputies were investigating the prior case involving the Huron girl, they immediately issued a warrant for his arrest.

He was arrested Aug. 26 and taken to the Erie County jail. He was released Sept. 6, after Erie County Municipal Court Judge Paul Lux approved his release on personal recognizance, according to jail officials.

Blanton originally agreed to speak to deputies about the charges, but he has since hired an attorney.

Barylski said she wanted to wait to indict Blanton after the first alleged incident because investigators were still awaiting results from the Toledo crime lab, on the laptop analysis.

   “We wanted to wait until we could do a complete investigation,” she said. “Subsequently, and unfortunately, we got a second victim.”

   Blanton’s next court

   appearance is pending.

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