Former Kearney Probation Officer Convicted of Civil Rights Violations
United States Attorney Deborah R. Gilg announced that Thomas Peterson, age 57 of Kearney, Nebraska, was convicted by a federal jury of four counts of violating the civil rights of female probationers under his supervision and one count of lying to the FBI when he submitted to an interview about the matter. Peterson is facing up to nine years in prison. The case was heard before Senior United States District Judge Richard Kopf.
Evidence introduced at trial established that Peterson was a state probation officer with the District 9 probation office in Kearney. He supervised a caseload made up of offenders in need of intensive supervision. The jury heard evidence that from approximately 2010 through January of 2014, Mr. Peterson subjected four female probationers to unsolicited and non-consensual sexual contact. The jury also heard from three other women who had been supervised by Mr. Peterson who reported sexually charged advances or comments from Mr. Peterson but which did not progress to the level of sexual contact. The jury found that Peterson had violated the civil rights of the four probationers by intruding into their constitutional rights to bodily integrity. Sentencing is set for October 20, 2016.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.