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Havre man denies 32 new child sex abuse charges

A man accused of possessing lewd pictures of a 16-year-old girl pleaded not guilty Monday in state District Court in Havre to 32 charges filed in an amendment to the case.

Gary L. Peterson of Havre, born in 1967, is charged with 32 counts of sexual abuse of children.

He pleaded not guilty to all counts Monday before District Judge Dan Boucher.

He pleaded not guilty in 2013 to the charges orginally filed.

According to court documents, in June 2013, Havre Police received a report that an employee at the District 4Human Resources Development Council discovered nude images of a girl at the HRDC building on 5th Avenue while looking for computer equipment in an office within the building. The employee suspected the photos were of the daughter of Peterson’s girlfriend. The daughter was 16 years old at the time the images were taken.

The court documents go on to say that Havre police interviewed Peterson.

Peterson told officers that he was unable to explain how the photos would have ended up at his workplace.

Authorities then interviewed Peterson’s then-girlfriend, who said she knew nothing about the photos.

She did, however, tell authorities that Peterson had an HRDC-owned laptop computer that he had never returned and that the laptop was kept locked in his garage.

She allowed officers to inspect the home, and officers discovered in a bathroom that was primarily used by the victim a poster with a pencil-sized hole that was aligned with another pencil-sized hole in the bathroom wall.

She also said she had seen wires in a room in the basement that Peterson frequented and that she had seen a four-part screen on the basement computer, which she suspected was linked to surveillance cameras around the residence.

She also told officers that Peterson had ordered and recently pawned a boroscope, which is a small flexible tube-type scope that is able to look through holes in the walls, under doors, and around corners and is difficult to detect.

Peterson’s jury trial is set for July 20 at the Hill County Courthouse.

 

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