The former maintenance director of the Petersburg School District has been charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.
45-year-old Tye Leif Petersen resigned from school district Tuesday. He has worked there since 2002. He left town on Tuesday and was arrested in Juneau. Petersen faces federal charges of distribution of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of pornography involving a child under 12 years old.
In a criminal complaint filed Tuesday, agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation allege that Petersen exchanged sexually graphic photos and video via email between April and July of this year, with another trafficker of child pornography, named in the complaint only as Tennessee John Doe. The criminal complaint says, “Most of the emails contained video or picture attachments depicting child pornography of very young children being sexually molested.”
The FBI says the internet account involved was registered to Petersen at his home address in Petersburg. Agents executed a federal search warrant there Friday and say they found child pornography on ten CDs there. The FBI also says Petersen admitted to receiving the pornography and provided agents with access to three email accounts.
The FBI and local law enforcement searched Petersburg’s school buildings and the school computer network Saturday morning. Petersburg’s school superintendent says the district’s cooperated fully and there’s no evidence any local children were involved. In a letter sent home to parents Tuesday, Superintendent Rob Thomason wrote “no downloading of photographs or other inappropriate material took place on site, during work hours, or using district computer equipment.”
Petersen’s first court appearance was scheduled for Wednesday October 30th at 11 a.m. in the Capital City.