The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 11, 2013

Man pleads guilty to sex abuse

Herald Staff Report

CLINTON — A 33-year-old man has pleaded guilty to having sex with a 14-year-old he met online.

Jason Petersen pleaded guilty to third-degree sex abuse during a hearing Thursday in Clinton County District Court, stating he met the victim through Facebook in early September 2011. He at first thought she was older than 14 and had sexual intercourse with her; even after learning her true age, he had a relationship with her through the end of November 2011, he said.

Third-degree sex abuse is a Class C felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years, although Petersen could receive a suspended sentence or deferred judgment at his Feb. 14 sentencing.

He also will have to register as a sex offender and will be placed on lifetime parole due to the nature of the offense.