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Altoona school superintendent charged with sex trafficking

ALTOONA, Wis. (AP) — A school superintendent in western Wisconsin was arrested Thursday on federal charges of the sex trafficking of a minor and production of child pornography.

A federal grand jury indicted Altoona school Superintendent Daniel Peggs last week, and the indictment was unsealed after Peggs’ arrest, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, Scott Blader, and Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said Thursday.

Peggs, 32, was arrested about 7 a.m. Thursday on his way to school, Altoona school board President Robin Elvig told the Leader-Telegram.

“Utter shock is an understatement,” Elvig said. “I’m still in shock.”

The Altoona school board chose Peggs as its new superintendent in February 2019 and he began serving in that position in July. Before that, he had been Altoona’s middle-school principal since 2016.

The indictment alleges that between October 2015 through May 2016, Peggs recruited an underage female for a commercial sex act and used an iPhone to produce a video of child pornography in December 2015.

Blader, the U.S. attorney, said the alleged conduct does not involve a student from the Altoona district.

Peggs appeared in U.S. District Court in Madison on Thursday and was ordered held until a detention hearing Monday. His federal public defender, Joseph Bugni, said Thursday he had no comment.

The Altoona school district has four schools and just over 1,700 students.

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