Court date set for December for Arlington man charged in sex sting

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UPDATED Nov. 14: The next court proceeding for an Arlington man facing a single charge of enticing a child under age 16 could take place as soon as next month.

The pretrial conference occurred Tuesday, Nov. 8, as scheduled -- having been postponed from its original Oct. 8 date -- and was uneventful, according to Boston-based attorney Henry Fasoldt, referring to his client Nathan Goldshlag, 72, of Arlington.

The next step in the legal process, a probable-cause hearing, is set for Dec. 13 in district court -- but if the grand jury should indict Goldshlag before that, then the probable-cause hearing in district court would be canceled, and the case would instead proceed in Superior Court on an as-yet-unknown date, Fasoldt said via email in response to a query from YourArlington.

Either way, the charge against Goldshlag is regarded as a felony, and, either way, Fasoldt said that he would still be representing his client.

There is always a grand jury available, and grand jurors change every three months, he explained.

Goldshlag was ordered held on $5,000 bail Aug. 23 following charges that he came to Salem on Aug. 19 to meet an underage girl — who was actually an undercover police officer — to engage in sex. 

Goldshlag, 72, pleaded not guilty to a single charge of enticing a child under age 16 at his arraignment in Salem District Court, the Salem News reported

He was arrested on High Street in Salem as part of a police investigation that started with a post in a Boston-area dating forum on Reddit, a website comprising thousands of online community forums.

'Kelly White'

Goldshlag is accused of attempting to meet up with “Kelly White,” a 15-year-old Salem girl with a Reddit username of Kdubz978. In fact, the News reported, it was two Salem police officers posing as the fictitious teen.

Salem police launched an investigation after Detective Thomas Shute, who the News reported is trained in stopping online predators, discovered a post made under the Reddit alias @Oldergy5 on Aug. 15 in an explicit Reddit forum, according to the News' summary of a police report.

Salem police told the Salem News that the account linked to Goldshlag has been deleted but that the fake “Kelly White” account used by police remained active as of Aug. 23.

After his arrest, the News reported that Goldshlag “refused to answer if the username (the @Oldergy5 alias on Reddit) was his but goes on to tell us that he was set up by entrapment,” according to the police report.

In August, prosecutors initially sought $15,000 cash bail, the News reported, but Fasoldt protested. He is quoted as saying: “Mr. Goldshlag allegedly posted something on Reddit expressing his desire to perform a particular sex act. He didn’t ask for any young person to contact him. Instead, somebody from the Salem police responded and pretended to be a 15-year-old.”

Associate Justice Carol Ann Fraser set bail at $5,000 — $4,000 more than the $1,000 posted before his arraignment. Goldshlag was also ordered to stay away from and have no contact with anyone under the age of 18, including family members.

Capt. Richard Flynn, the public-information officer for the Arlington Police Department, wrote in response to a YourArlington query posed Aug. 29: "The APD did not have this individual on its investigative radar in the light of the reported charges in Salem." 

Goldshlag is known in Arlington as a member of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace, an antiwar group.

Attorney comments

In August, Goldshlag's attorney, Fasoldt, told YourArlington the following via email:

"Mr. Goldshlag’s next court date is scheduled for Oct. 11, 2022. That is called a 'pre-trial conference.' On that date I [will] meet with the prosecutor to discuss the case. In addition, the prosecutor will provide us with more evidence. Mr. Goldshlag is a 72-year-old [U.S. military] veteran who is actively engaged in the community. Like all people charged by the government, he is entitled to the presumption of innocence." 

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This news summary, based on a report in the Salem News and YourArlington files, was published Aug. 26, 2022, updated Aug. 28, 2022, with a statement from the defendant's attorney, updated Aug. 29, 2022, to add comment from Arlington police, updated Oct. 11, 2022, to state that the date of the pretrial conference has been changed from Oct. 11 to Nov. 8, and updated Nov. 14, 2022, to note that the case may be transferred to a different court in a different city.

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