BOISE — Martin L. “Marty” Peterson, 76, of Boise, a figure in Idaho politics for five decades, was arrested Thursday and charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.
A news release from Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office said that Peterson is alleged to have possessed sexually exploitative material. The investigation was performed by the Idaho Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, the Boise Police Department and the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.
The Idaho statute under which Peterson is charged is quite broad and includes several specific offenses. The Ada County Prosecutor’s Office would not say Thursday what Peterson is alleged to have done. It would confirm only that he would be arraigned this afternoon.
Among other positions, Peterson served on U.S. Sen. Frank Church’s staff, on former Gov. Butch Otter’s transition team, as the executive director of the Association of Idaho Cities and on the Idaho Humanities Council, according to his page on the Idaho Humanities Council website. He was also the budget director for former govs. John Evans and Cecil Andrus, and has served as an assistant to several University of Idaho presidents.
Peterson is a Lewiston native and University of Idaho graduate who has occasionally contributed to the Tribune’s opinion page. He has served on UI’s School of Journalism and Mass Media advisory board, the Friends of Idaho Public Television board and as the president for the Foundation for Idaho History. He also was the director of UI’s James A. and Louise McClure Center for Public Policy Research.
University of Idaho officials declined to comment about Peterson’s arrest, but said he is currently still on the journalism school board.
Peterson co-authored “Idaho 100: The People Who Most Influenced the Gem State.” He has written other books and also graduated from Columbia Basin College and Harvard University’s Senior Managers in Government Program.