Andes teenager gets jail in child pornography case

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Staff report
An Andes man has been sentenced to six months in jail and was put on probation for 10 years after he was found guilty of charges involving sexual abuse of a child. Clint Peterson, who is now 19, was sentenced June 28 in Delaware County Court. He was arrested in October 2008 after he allegedly e-mailed an image of an underage girl to someone he thought was another girl. The recipient was a member of the Los Angeles County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
The incident reportedly occurred in January 2008. After the investigator received the e-mail, it was reportedly traced back to Peterson’s computer. Delaware County Sheriff’s Department officials were notified of the incident and began an investigation.
Sheriff’s department deputies seized Peterson’s computer for evaluation. It was disclosed during court proceedings that an analysis of the computer’s hard drive revealed hundreds of images of preadolescent females in sexually provocative poses.
Peterson was charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child under the age of 17 and possessing a sexual performance by a child under age 16. Both charges are felonies. He was found guilty on both counts at a jury trial in May in County Court.
At last week’s sentencing, Peterson’s attorney Frederick Neroni asked the judge for leniency, citing the fact that his client was 17 at the time of the alleged incident. He also asked that Peterson’s sentencing not include being labeled as a sex offender.
“His whole life will be ruined if he is determined a sex offender,” Neroni told Judge Carl Becker.
Judge Becker responded that neither the defendant nor his family appeared to understand the seriousness of the charges.
The judge pointed out that many community members had submitted many letters of support on Peterson’s behalf. He was not swayed, however.
Citing the hundreds of images of young girls in sexual poses, he told Peterson, “This is about you being a budding pedophile.”
At the sentencing, District Attorney Richard Northrup stated: “Neither the defendant or his parents understand the seriousness of this behavior. This young man needs to be monitored due to his anti-social behavior. The defendant will be classified as a sex offender.”