#minorsextrafficking | Inside the courtroom of the Daniel Peggs sentencing | Crime and Courts

MADISON (WQOW) – After nearly two years the case against the former Altoona superintendent is now closed. Daniel Peggs was sentenced to eight years in prison followed by ten years of supervised release.

To use the judges words, it was a somber day in court as the former educator was sentenced. No cameras were allowed in court, because it was a federal case, but a News 18 reporter was in the courtroom when the victim in the case gave a powerful and emotional statement about the role Peggs played in her trafficking.

“The emotional toll it took to watch him come and do this to someone his students age left a black hole in me,” the victim said to the court. 

The courtroom was filled with Peggs family, which included his ex-wife who he was with during the period of time these crimes took place.

With his voice shaking and tears, Peggs said he was in a dark place and is sorry for what he has done.

Before he learned his fate the judge reiterated many times that it was a complicated case, and the heart of the crime was the production of child pornography. And although his defense is he did not know, there were many red flags that this was a minor.

“There were red flags all over the place because [the victim] looked so young,” Judge James Peterson said. 

This was especially problematic for someone of his stature. 

“As an educator he should have been on alert of the vulnerabilities,” Judge Peterson said. 

The judge also said that he received over one hundred letters from the community about this case. Fierce Freedom, an organization to help educate about human trafficking, told News 18 after the ruling about how this might have played a role.

“I think that writing letters from the community was really key. I think he weighed so much of the evidence, I think that we were hoping for the maximum obviously, but I do think he looked at the broader context,” said Kat Morgan, community program specialist with Fierce Freedom. “There was trafficking, there was child pornography, and there was so much more at play than just the single possession of child pornography count.”

The judge said although Peggs did not set out to produce the child porn, that was the price of sex with the victim and he was willing and eager to do it. The judge also said there was no evidence that Peggs was interested in prepubescent children, and that he did not appear to use his position to groom children. 

Ultimately for the judge it came down to if Peggs is a risk to the public, and he ruled that he is.

As for the ten years of supervision, the judge ruled on that many years so that supervision will continue until his children are adults.

Peggs is due to report to prison on January 6. Where exactly that will be has yet to be determined.

Source link