Scale of justice logo Longtime Arlington resident Nathan L. Goldshlag, 73, last month pleaded guilty to a single charge of enticing a minor and was immediately sentenced to three years' probation with conditions, online records show and a district attorney's spokesman has confirmed.

The case began with a "sting" operation in August 2022 in Salem, in Essex County. Authorities said Goldshlag went there to attempt to meet in person and to initiate sexual contact with "Kelly White," with whom he previously had interacted only online via a forum on the Reddit website. Officials said that Goldshlag believed "Kelly White" to be a 15-year-old girl -- but "she" was really two Salem police officers impersonating a nonexistent child.

Goldshlag was arrested when officers found him at the scheduled meeting place at the agreed-upon time and date, they reported. The district attorney's office for Essex County soon after charged Goldshlag with "entice child under 16 c265 §26C(b)," a felony.

Goldshlag had originally pleaded not guilty and maintained that stance through various court proceedings for nearly 10 months. But at a change-of-plea hearing on June 23, he changed his plea to guilty and was immediately sentenced by Judge Thomas Drechsler at Salem Superior Court.

Requirements as of late June

Conditions of the three years' probation include being required to register with the SORB, or Sex Offender Registry Board; to have no contact with anyone younger than 18 except for supervised visitation with his own minor grandchildren; to continue sex-offender counseling; and to surrender his passport to probation authorities. However, he will be allowed to travel to Maine in August and to France in September, according to the online database website

The Essex County Probation Department confirmed July 17 to YourArlington that Goldshlag is on probation and in compliance with the conditions.

YourArlington confirmed July 17 the facts of the case's disposition,as reported on that database, via telephone with Glen Johnson, spokesman for the Essex County District Attorney's Office.The guilty plea, the sentencing and the imposition of conditions all took place June 23 at Superior Court in Salem, in Essex County, Johnson confirmed. 

The website says that it uses court records and is searchable. The website acknowledges that it is not run by the government -- although, its homepage says, it derives its data from government files. Johnson said that the website does use court records and is considered generally reliable.

Goldshlag has been known in recent years around Arlington as an active member of the local chapter of Veterans for Peace, an antiwar group, and he has appeared at some public demonstrations.

Arlington Police Department statement

Soon after the arrest took place, Capt. Richard Flynn, 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.” 

Reached July 18, Flynn said, "The APD is aware of the findings in the Salem PD case against Arlington resident Nathan Goldshlag. Goldshlag will be responsible to participate [in] and follow the terms of his probation, which will be supervised by his assigned probation officer. Goldshlag will also register as a sex offender with SORB. Depending on when and how SORB classifies Goldshlag will determine our involvement with him."

According to SORB documentation provided by Flynn on July 18, after unclassified sex offenders register with SORB, they're assigned for classification review. An offender is given 30 days to submit information regarding sex-offender-specific treatment; current lifestyle; employment; living situation; alcohol/drug abuse treatment; and any other information the offender seeks to have considered. Three levels of classification exist. Level 1 offenders are deemed low risk, and members of the general public are not allowed to know about them, although all relevant governmental agencies are informed. By contrast, Level 2 is moderate risk, and Level 3 is high risk, and members of the general public may learn about these from any law-enforcement agency.

It is also often possible for individuals and organizations to initiate searches independently; more information is available via this link.

Statement from defense counsel

YourArlington requested comment from Goldshlag's lawyer throughout the case, Boston-based attorney Henry Fasoldt, about the change of plea. Fasoldt said via email July 17: 

 "Mr. Goldshlag changed his plea on June 23. He received no jail time.

"He resolved his case more quickly than most cases that come before the Superior Court.

"The case was initiated by an undercover officer who pretended to be a 15-year-old female on a webpage that was strictly designated for adults. Mr. Goldshlag looks forward to moving on with his life."

Background on the case

Fasoldt told YourArlington via email Jan. 12 that at that point the next step in the case was to be a status conference, then scheduled for March 10.

Goldshlag was arraigned in Essex County Superior Court on Jan. 6, according to his lawyer. “He is facing one count of Enticement of a Child. 'Child' is defined as a person under 16,” Fasoldt said.

The previous step in the court system was to have been a probable-cause hearing, Dec. 13 in district court in Salem; however, Fasoldt did not reply to YourArlington seeking confirmation as to whether that occurred. The pretrial conference did occur Nov. 8, as scheduled -- having been postponed from its original Oct. 8 date -- and was uneventful, according to Fasoldt.

Goldshlag was ordered in district court to be held on $5,000 bail Aug. 23 following an accusation that he came to Salem on Aug. 19 to meet what he allegedly thought was an underage girl — but actually was a pair of Salem police officers — to engage in sex. Goldshlag 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.

Fasoldt since said that his client was released on the same bail amount that was imposed in district court. Associate Justice Carol Ann Fraser set bail at $5,000 — $4,000 more than the $1,000 posted before Goldshlag's arraignment in district court. At that time, Goldshlag was ordered to stay away from and to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18, including any possible family members in that age group. 

Aug. 26, 2022: Court proceeding reset for March for Arlington man charged in sex sting

 This account by YourArlington Editor Judith Pfeffer was published Tuesday, July 18, 2023; it was updated later that day to include a statement attesting to the Arlington Police Department's awareness of recent developments and a description of the Sex Offender Registry Board's protocols.