Winnebago Man Arrested During Online Predator Sting Sentenced to Probation

A Winnebago man who was arrested during an online predator sting has been sentenced to probation.


Joshua Serafin, 25, was sentenced in Faribault County Court this week.


In July, Serafin agreed to plead guilty to a charge of felony distribution of sexual conduct to a child via electronic communication.  A second charge of the same was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.  A charge of felony child electronic solicitation of a child was also dismissed.


Serafin was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and 30 days in the Faribault County Jail.  Serafin will be given credit for four days already served and is eligible to serve his jail time on work release.  If he successfully completes probation, his conviction will be reduced to a misdemeanor.


Court documents say Serafin began a conversation on a dating site with someone he believed to be 15 years old in February 2019.


In March 2019, Serafin attempted to turn the online relationship into an in-person sexual encounter.  In April, investigators acting as the 15 year old girl again reached out to Serafin, who arranged a meeting.


Investigators arranged a meeting between the decoy teen and Serafin at Fairmont High School, where he was identified and arrested.