By Shereen Siewert
The superintendent of the Altoona School District in Wisconsin is facing multiple federal charges after being indicted as part of a nationwide initiative to crack down on child exploitation and abuse, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin and Atty. Gen. Josh Kaul.
An unsealed indictment shows Daniel Peggs, 32, is facing charges of sex trafficking of a minor and production of child pornography. The indictment, returned Feb. 12 by a federal grand jury in Madison, was unsealed today following Peggs’ arrest.
Peggs was named superintendent in Altoona in February 2019. He was employed by the Gilman School District during the alleged crimes took place.
The indictment alleges that from October 2015 through May 2016, Peggs recruited and maintained a relationship with an individual knowing that the individual was a minor and would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act. The indictment also alleges that in December 2015, Peggs used the minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of the conduct.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that Peggs used an iPhone to produce a video of the child pornography.
According to United States Attorney Scott Blader, the conduct Peggs is charged with does not involve a student from the Altoona School District. According to his LinkedIn profile, Peggs was first hired by the Altoona School District in July 2016 as a middle school principal, two months after these alleged crimes were committed.
Prior to working in Gilman, Peggs was a science teacher from 2010 to 2014 at the Chippewa Falls Middle School where he worked for four years.
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 on Thursday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Pfluger is handling the prosecution.
This investigation was a part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse.
Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.