Ex-Idaho political figure pleads guilty to child pornography

Posted at 10:23 AM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 12:23:31-05

BOISE, Idaho (AP)  — A former political figure in Idaho has pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child pornography in a plea deal dismissing 12 other charges.

Martin “Marty” Peterson, 76, entered guilty pleas Thursday to two counts of willfully possessing or accessing child sexually exploitative material, prosecutors said.

Peterson worked as budget director under former Govs. John Evans and Cecil Andrus, and served on the staff of Democratic Sen. Frank Church.

Related: Former Idaho budget director Marty Peterson charged with 11 more felonies in child porn case

Peterson was arrested in October and was originally charged with three counts of accessing sexually explicit images of minors between January 2018 and October 2019, authorities said.

Eleven counts were added in January after an investigation revealed Peterson was involved in sexual exploitation of a child dating back to 2015, prosecutors said.

Each count Peterson pleaded guilty to is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, prosecutors said.

District Judge Lynn Norton ordered a presentencing investigation, a substance abuse evaluation and a pyschosexual evaluation to be conducted before his sentencing in April.

Peterson, a University of Idaho graduate, also served on the university’s School of Journalism and Mass Media advisory board, the Friends of Idaho Public Television board and as the president for the Foundation for Idaho History. Peterson was also special assistant to the university president and interim director of the James A. McClure Center for Public Policy Research.