Petersen enters guilty pleas for child pornography charges

PETERSBURG – Former Petersburg Community School District Maintenance Director Tye Petersen, 46, pleaded guilty last week to Distribution, Receipt and Possession of Child Pornography—three counts that carry up to a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for each count.

Petersen was arrested last October after federal investigators and local police conducted a search warrant of his home and electronic devices. Investigators found email attachments as well as CDs containing images and videos of young children engaged in sexually explicit behaviors.

According to an FBI affidavit, last July an investigator searched a Yahoo! E-mail account it’s labeling “Tennessee John Doe” and found “prolific child pornography trading” between that user, Petersen’s and more than 50 other email accounts.

According to a grand jury indictment, “Beginning at a time unknown, but starting at least on or about November 26, 2007, and continuing until October 25, 2013, within the District of Alaska, the defendant…did knowingly possess images containing visual depictions…”

FBI and local school officials announced last February that non-pornographic images of local children had also been discovered which Petersen allegedly downloaded from social media accounts and possibly from student computers. Petersen also allegedly photographed images through a small hole into the school’s mat room. The FBI has informed all parents whose children had been identified in images seized from Petersen.

Petersen resigned from the district last October and was arrested soon after in the Juneau airport awaiting a flight to Seattle, Wash.

Petersen is scheduled for sentencing November 11.


Reader Comments(0)