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Principal facing criminal sexual conduct charges

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MORRIS, Minn.  – Morris Area High School Principal Craig Peterson has been charged with four felony counts of criminal sexual conduct after allegedly assaulting an acquaintance at his home in Morris.

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Peterson, 36, has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. Peterson appeared in Stevens County District Court on Thursday.

According to the complaint, a 30-year-old woman had several drinks with Peterson at a bar, before agreeing to go to his home. In a statement, the woman told police she either fell asleep or blacked out while Peterson was driving.

The complaint said the woman recalled waking up in Peterson’s bed with him on top of her. The woman told police that she pushed at Peterson’s chest, told him it hurt and asked him to stop.

In a statement to police, Peterson confirmed they had sex, but could not recall any conversations during sex and denied that she pushed at his chest.

Peterson’s next court appearance is set for Monday.

After Thursday’s hearing, Morris Area Superintendent Scott Monson indicated that Peterson had been placed on paid administrative leave but offered no other comment.

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