TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man was arraigned Thursday as a suspect in several sexual assaults involving young children.

Anthony James Pettinato, 47, was arrested Wednesday by Michigan State Police. According to 86th District Court documents, Pettinato was charged with three counts of first-degree sexual conduct, and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Both sets of charges indicated that the alleged victims are under the age of 13, according to court records.

Lt. Derrick Carroll said Children’s Protective Services contacted the state police Cadillac Post in October about an alleged sexual assault of a young child.

As the police investigation progressed, troopers identified other alleged victims, who were subsequently interviewed at the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center. Carroll declined to say how many are involved.

Pettinato does not have a previous criminal history here, according to records from the 86th District Court. He currently is being held on a $500,000 cash or surety bond at Grand Traverse County Jail.

His next court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 16.

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