Altoona superintendent pleads not guilty to sex trafficking and child porn charges

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Superintendent of the Altoona School District Daniel Peggs has pleaded not guilty to child sex trafficking and porn charges after being arrested by police Thursday.

Daniel Peggs (Source: Dane County Sheriff's Office)

The U.S. Attorney's Office confirms to NBC15 News that Peggs pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking of a minor under 18 and over 14 as well as production of child pornography with the same victim.

The 32-year-old Peggs was brought to Madison for an initial appearance in U.S. District Court on Thursday afternoon.

Officials with the Altoona School District and the Altoona Police Department held a press conference regarding Peggs Thursday afternoon.

School Board President Robin Elvig said that the indictment did not involve a student in the school district.

Elvig says that as soon as Peggs is released from jail on Monday, he will be placed on administrative leave. Peggs will also not be allowed on school grounds or at school events.

Counselors will be on hand for students, and students and parents have been informed of the incident.

"As a school district our main concern is the safety and well-being of our students," Elvig said at the press conference.

The Indictment

The initial indictment alleges that from October 2015 through May 2016, the Altoona man recruited and maintained an individual knowing that the individual was a minor and would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act, according to the Department of Justice.

Peggs was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury on February 12.

The indictment also alleges that in December of 2015, Peggs used the minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the conduct.

The indictment alleges that Peggs used an iPhone to produce a video of the child pornography, according to the Department of Justice.

According to United States Attorney Scott C. Blader, the charges do not involve a student from the Altoona School District.

If convicted, Peggs faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years and a maximum of life in federal prison on the sex trafficking a minor charge. The production of child pornography charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years.

The charges against Peggs are the result of an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

The Altoona Police Department assisted during Peggs’ arrest Thursday.