The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

February 18, 2013

Clinton judge orders deferred judgement in underage sex case

CLINTON — Judge Mark Smith granted a deferred judgement request from a 33-year-old man who pleaded guilty to having sex with a 14-year-old he met online.

Jason Petersen’s defense attorney Les Blair told the court Thursday that when his client first met the 14-year-old victim online, he believed her to be 19. Petersen said he was told she was 19 and then later learned she was 14. Even after learning her true age, Petersen had a relationship with her through the end of November 2011.

“That is not an excuse, but it is an explanation,” Blair said.

Third-degree sex abuse is a Class C felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years. County Attorney Mike Wolf recommended a suspended sentence, rather than a deferred judgement. He said he had a hard time getting over the age difference. However, Blair felt that a deferred judgment was more appropriate.

“My client does not have a significant history. He does not have a history of this type of offense,” Blair said. He added that his client is not attracted to children.

Petersen expressed sorrow at what he had done. He said he was sorry if he caused the victim psychological damage.

Smith granted a three-year deferred judgment, with the stipulation that Petersen completes the sex abuse program and refrains from going on any social websites during his probation. Petersen must also complete a substance abuse evaluation and treatment. A $1,000 civil penalty was suspended. Petersen was ordered to pay court costs and attorney fees, but may complete community service instead.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Arizona's prolonged lethal injection is fourth in U.S. this year

    Arizona's execution of double-murderer Joseph Wood marked the fourth time this year that a state failed to dispatch a convict efficiently, according to the Constitution Project, a bipartisan legal group.3

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology plays key part in battling police brutality (with VIDEO)

    Allegations of police brutality are nothing new -- as long as there has been law enforcement, citizens have registered claims that some officers cross the line. But in the last few years, the claims of excessive force are being corroborated with new technology from cell phone cameras, police dash-cams and surveillance videos. 

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clinton Community School District 2013-2014 Wages

    Clinton Community School District 2013-2014 Wages

    July 24, 2014

  • techel.jpg Iowa man convicted of killing pregnant wife

    A jury convicted an Iowa man Thursday of killing his pregnant wife in 2012, rejecting his claims of innocence after the third trial in the case.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • RAGBRAI rider from Sioux City dies in Mason City

    A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his tent in Mason City in the second death during the weeklong bicycling event.

    July 24, 2014

  • Facebook continues moneymaking trend

    Facebook seems to have figured out - for now at least - the holy grail for all media right now: how to make money selling mobile ads.

    July 24, 2014

  • Deliberations resume at Iowa man's murder trial

    Jurors will be allowed to review the video, but not the transcript, of an Iowa man being interrogated as they consider whether he's guilty of murder in the death of his pregnant wife.

    July 24, 2014

  • Has the iPad lost its swag?

    The company reported this week that sales of its sleek, pricey tablet were down 19 percent from last quarter and 9 percent year-over-year.

    CEO Tim Cook tried to reassure investors that Apple's new partnership with IBM to sell its devices to IBM's corporate customers will help make iPads ubiquitous in the workplace.

    July 24, 2014

  • Health insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8M in refunds

    The federal government says insurers owe Iowans nearly $1.8 million in refunds because of a provision in the Affordable Care Act.

    July 24, 2014

AP Video