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By LeAnn R. Ralph
HUDSON — A former Glenwood City High School teacher who pleaded guilty to two of seven felonies related to sex crimes involving a teenaged girl in Missouri has been sentenced to nine years in prison and 12 years of extended supervision.
Judge Edward Vlack sentenced Peter L.O. Gaustad, age 46, in St. Croix County Circuit Court Thursday, August 8, on felony counts of child sexual exploitation and causing a child 13 to 18 years of age to view sexual activity.
Judge Vlack accepted Gaustad’s guilty plea at a hearing in June and dismissed but read into the record for sentencing one felony count each of child sexual exploitation, exposing a child to harmful material and using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and two felony counts of possessing child pornography.
On the felony count of child exploitation, Judge Vlack sentenced Gaustad to seven years of initial confinement in prison and nine years of extended supervision.
On the felony count of causing a child age 13 to 18 to view sexual activity, Judge Vlack sentenced Gaustad to two years of initial confinement in prison and three years of extended supervision, to run consecutively to the sentence on child exploitation.
Gaustad’s sentence included a list of conditions: absolutely no contact whatsoever with the complaining witness; no contact with anyone female under the age of 18 without the written approval of his probation agent; no contact with a person identified by initials in the court record who is now 17 years old or her family.
“No contact” is defined as no contact in person, by telephone, by way of electronic device, or by e-mail and social media, including but not limited to, texting, Facebook, or Twitter, and no contact by mail and/or through a third person.
Judge Vlack also ordered Gaustad to maintain absolute sobriety, which means zero alcohol, zero controlled substances, zero prescribed medications (except as taken and prescribed by a physician) in Gaustad’s system, on his person or in his possession. Maintaining absolute sobriety includes no drug paraphernalia in Gaustad’s possession.
The judge ordered drug and alcohol testing be done upon reasonable suspicion or at the court’s directive and that the cost of the testing shall be Gaustad’s responsibility.
Gaustad also has been ordered by the court not to enter any business where the primary purpose of the business is to sell alcohol.
In addition, Gaustad was ordered by the court to complete a sex offender evaluation and follow through with any recommendations and was ordered to comply with any programming recommended by the Department of Corrections and to complete any follow-through.
Judge Vlack ordered Gaustad not to access the Internet without written prior approval and not to have an occupation or a volunteer position where there would be juvenile girls under the age of 18.
Gaustad also was ordered to register as a sex offender and cannot possess any firearms.
Judge Vlack ordered Gaustad to pay $268 in court cots, submit a DNA sample and to pay a $250 DNA surcharge.
Within 30 days, restitution for the victim’s counseling will be determined as well.
Judge Vlack granted Gaustad 490 days of credit for time served.
The judge set a cash bail for Gaustad of $100,000 April 6, 2018.
At the time of the sentencing hearing on August 8, Gaustad remained in custody at the St. Croix County jail.
Prior to Judge Vlack pronouncing sentence, friends, co-workers and acquaintances made statements to the court.
Statements from his cousin, daughter, son and mother were given to the court as well.
The sentencing hearing began at 9:09 a.m. and adjourned at noon.
Child sexual exploitation is a Class C felony that carries a possible penalty of a fine of up to $100,000 and/or up to 40 years in prison. Causing a child 13 to 18 years of age to view sexual activity is a Class H felony that carries a possible penalty of a fine of up to $10,000 and/or up to six years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri referred the case to law enforcement officials with the Wisconsin Department of Justice after a detective with the Boone County Missouri Sheriff’s Department received a telephone call from a concerned citizen on March 23, 2018, about her 15-year-old daughter, who had been talking with a 45-year-old man from Wisconsin.
The girl told her mother she was in contact with a 45-year-old teacher who lives in Glenwood City, Wisconsin, and she had used Whisper and Snapchat to communicate. The girl also said she had told him she was a sophomore in high school, that she had sent several nude photographs to him, and he had sent nude photographs to her, according to the complaint.
In addition to teaching social studies at Glenwood City High School, Gaustad served as the girls’ head softball coach and the junior varsity girls’ basketball coach.
Gaustad was first elected to the Glenwood City Common Council in April of 2016 and was re-elected to a second term April 3, 2018.
After his arrest on April 5, 2018, Gaustad resigned from the Glenwood City Common Council.
The Glenwood City Board of Education accepted Gaustad’s resignation from his teaching and coaching positions at the April 23, 2018, meeting.