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Toward the end of Marty Peterson’s sentencing hearing, after 4th District Court Judge Lynn Norton told him he would have to register as a sex offender, his attorney asked the judge if terms of Peterson’s probation would affect his housing situation, since his Meridian home is next door to a house with children inside, writes Idaho Press reporter Tommy Simmons. “Yeah,” Norton said. “He may have to move. He cannot be within 100 feet of children under 18.”

“Your honor,” Peterson, 77, asked, “is this something I can discuss with my probation officer?”

Norton replied that no, it was not, and she pointed out that she could have sentenced him to serve the sentence prosecutors asked for instead — three fixed years in prison, with another seven possible after that. She suspended that sentence in favor of 10 years of supervised probation, as well as 90 days in jail, with two suspended. If Peterson fails probation, he could face the prison sentence.

Peterson, a longtime political figure in Idaho, who formerly served as the state’s budget director, was arrested in October on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child; police and prosecutors say he accessed online child pornography. In December, prosecutors added 11 more counts, for a total of 14 counts. In January, he pleaded guilty to two of them.

You can read Simmons' full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up Friday's edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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