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Forum News Service, Published January 01 2014

Former Warren principal appears on sex charges

MORRIS, Minn. – The former principal and athletic director at Warren-Alvarado-Oslo High School in Warren, Minn., appeared in court this week in Morris on four felony counts of criminal sexual conduct.

In court

on Monday, Craig Jon Peterson, 36, deferred entering a plea to the charges and was scheduled for an omnibus hearing Feb. 5 in state district court in Morris, said a Stevens County official.

Peterson worked for five years in the Warren school northeast of Grand Forks before starting in August as principal and activities director in Morris. He formerly served on the city council in Newfolden, Minn.

Peterson was placed on paid leave last week by school officials, pending the charges, according to the Morris Sun Tribune.

According to the complaint, a 30-year-old female friend of Peterson’s told police she was drinking with him at a bar Dec. 21 in Morris, then went to his home to play pool and table hockey.

She said she had gotten “tipsy” at the bar and later blacked out or passed out and woke up with Peterson on top of her in his bed. She said she asked him to stop but he didn’t. He later drove her back to the bar shortly after midnight.

She went to the local hospital later that morning and reported she had been sexually assaulted.

Peterson told police the sexual activity was consensual and said the woman had not asked him to stop, according to the Morris newspaper’s account of the complaint.