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Attorney for Dan Peggs targets ex-wife’s social media posts ahead of plea hearing

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 4:48 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - An attorney for Dan Peggs has filed a letter to U.S. District Judge James Peterson ahead of a plea hearing on Friday in response to recent social media posts made by Peggs’ ex-wife.

Judge Peterson will decide Friday whether to accept a plea deal reached in July, in which the former superintendent of the School District of Altoona pleaded guilty to one count of possession of child pornography. The plea deal dismisses the more serious charges Peggs faced including sex trafficking a minor and production of child pornography. If Judge Peterson chooses to accept the plea deal, Peggs faces a maximum of ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

In her blog, Parenting with Principle, Ashley Peggs, has asked her family and friends to write to Judge Peterson asking for the maximum sentence for her ex-husband.

“We need to be heard and as a collective group, we can at least feel like we have done all that we can,” she wrote in a July 15 post. “We are asking for the maximum sentence possible in hopes that it will allow his family and his victims time to heal. It will also allow his daughters to grow up safely and away from a man who could put them into harm’s way.”

Records show 25 sealed letters have been submitted to the courts regarding Peggs’ sentencing.

On Thursday, Associate Federal Defender Joseph Bugni wrote a letter to Judge Peterson addressing these posts calling it “unusual” for so many letters to be sent before a plea. Bugni claims Ashley does not qualify as a crime victim in this case, writing her grievances should rather be aired in custody proceedings in state court.

In the letter Bugni wrote, “While Ms. Peggs has every right to privately (and publicly) disparage Peggs as a crummy husband, she doesn’t have the right to stand in court cloaked as a victim and exercise a victim’s rights.”

Dan Peggs is scheduled to appear before Judge Peterson at 10:30 a.m. on Friday for a plea hearing.

As part of the agreement, Peggs would waive the right to appeal and the right to a jury trial. He would also be under supervision for life once released from prison and have to pay restitution in the case.

If the plea deal is accepted, the judge will return a sentence in eight to 10 weeks.

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