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Eveleth photographer pleads guilty to peeping on girl

HIBBING — The owner of an Eveleth photography business pleaded guilty Thursday to peeping on an underage girl who was changing in a dressing room at his studio.

Donald Louis Peterson, 56, of Gilbert, will avoid jail time if he meets the conditions of his probation. Sentencing is set for Oct. 10 in Hibbing before Judge Mark Starr.

Under the terms of the agreement, Peterson will receive two years of supervised probation, pay a $1,000 fine and must undergo a psychosexual evaluation. The second year of probation could be unsupervised, if recommended by his probation officer.

According to court documents, an Eveleth police officer was flagged down Aug. 31, 2012, by a boy who reported that his girlfriend was getting her graduation photos taken at the Thomas Leonard Studio and he saw Peterson looking through a hole in the wall while she was in the dressing room.

Two Eveleth police officers went to the studio Sept. 4 and talked to Peterson, who showed them the dressing room and storage room. An officer spotted a piece of wood closing an approximate 2-inch gap in the wall about 7 feet off the ground. Photographs were taken of the room. One of the girls told officers she could hear Peterson moving things around behind the dressing room while she was changing clothes.

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