Former Barry County man sentenced for illicit sex with minor

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A former Barry County man was sentenced after traveling to Tennessee to engage in an illicit sexual relationship with a 15-year-old victim.

Michael Peterson, 35, of Morristown, Tennessee, was sentenced Friday, Dec. 7 to 17 years in federal prison without parole, according to the release from the Office of the United States Attorney Western District Of Missouri. 

Peterson previously pleaded guilty on April 25, 2018, to traveling across state lines to engage in illicit sexual activity, according to the release.

Peterson admitted that he moved from Missouri to Tennessee in June 2014 because the victim, who was 15 at the time of the incident, moved to Tennessee.

Peterson lived with the minor and her mother. He helped pay for rent and other living expenses, according to the release.

Peterson engaged in illicit sexual conduct with the child victim who became pregnant and gave birth to their child on Feb. 26, 2015, according to the release.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the FBI.

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