Morris high school principal charged with sexual assault

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The 36-year-old principal of Morris Area High School has been charged with four counts of criminal sexual assault. Craig Peterson appeared in Stevens County District Court Thursday, but did not enter a plea, according to the Morris SunTribune.

The criminal complaint says a 30-year-old woman arranged to meet Peterson about 9 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion in Morris. After several drinks, the woman said she knew she was getting tipsy and wanted to leave. They decided to go to Peterson's home.

In a statement, the woman told police that she either fell asleep or blacked out while Peterson was driving. She woke up in Peterson's bed with him assaulting her. She said she told him to stop.

He took her back to the bar to get her car about 12:30. She then drove to Stevens Community Medical Center, where she reported the alleged assault.

Peterson was brought to the Stevens County Law Enforcement Center on Monday and provided a statement to police. He said the woman did not appear tired or intoxicated. He confirmed they had sex.

The Forum News Service reports Peterson is charged with two counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct.

Judge Gerald Seibel set bail at $25,000 with conditions or $75,000 unconditional. Peterson’s next court appearance is set for Monday.

After the hearing, Morris Area Superintendent Scott Monson said Peterson was on paid administrative leave but offered no other comment.

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