Local attorney gives insight on Peggs case

Published: Feb. 21, 2020 at 5:42 PM CST
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Dan Peggs has worked in the Altoona School District since 2016 and became superintendent last year.

Harry Hertel, a local attorney with experience in federal child porn cases, met with WEAU Friday to find out how the United States Attorney’s Office may operate in this trial. He says the court proceedings going forward will resemble trials on the “Law and Order” television show, meaning Peggs will face a jury trial made up from people from the Western District of Wisconsin.

Peggs was indicted on February 12, 2020 by a grand jury and arrested on February 20, 2020 in Altoona. Hertel says he believes the reason for those eight days between indictment and arrest was out of the fear that law enforcement in Wisconsin and North Carolina could lose one or both suspects. Peggs remains in custody at the Dane County Jail. He is scheduled for a hearing on Monday, to see if he is eligible to be released to his home. However, Hertel says that is unlikely.

“I think if this was Las Vegas, one would put the money that he is not going to be home. He will likely be detained either with a very significant bail, not based on his ability to pay, but the severity of the charges,” Hertel said. “Given his role as school superintendent, there is a certain egregious factor that is going to be argued that likely means he stays locked up.”

Hertel says he anticipates the trial will take place either late summer or early autumn. If convicted, Peggs could potentially serve between 10 year to life in federal prison for the sex trafficking charge, as well as between 15 and 30 years in federal prison for the child pornography charge.