A former state probation officer from Kearney has been given the maximum prison sentence allowed for engaging in unwanted sexual contact with four female probationers.
U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg reports 57-year-old Thomas Peterson has been sentenced to nine years in prison and five years of supervised release by federal District Judge Richard Kopf.
A federal jury sitting in Lincoln convicted Peterson in July. The formal sentence was 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.
The jury heard evidence that Peterson forced himself on four female probationers, subjecting them to unsolicited and non-consensual sexual contact. Three other women supervised by Peterson in the District 9 probation office in Kearney reported sexually charged advances or comments from Peterson.
The FBI investigated the matter.