, right, listens during proceedings at the Second District Court Tuesday, August 4, 2009 in Ogden, Utah.
(Nick Short/Standard-Examiner) (Aaron Edwards)
case is full of contradictions.
didn't do it.
But just days before his
55th birthday in late December, Peterson
, who finished serving a 15-year sentence for the alleged crime in 2007, was cleared unequivocally of all wrongdoing after his
kids recanted their allegations that he
sexually abused them.
Peterson, who now works as a truck driver, declined to comment through one of his attorneys, Jason Richards, who represented him on the innocence case.
In 1990, the then-32-year-old Peterson
was involved in a contentious custody battle over his
5-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son.
pleaded guilty to a lesser second-degree felony count of sexual abuse of a child and was sentenced to 36 months probation.
As part of that plea, he
was required to complete sex-offender treatment.
Richards said Peterson
had people in his therapy group - who had committed the sex offenses - help him write up a plausible description.
Law enforcement also reported to the parole board that Peterson
was in total denial and laying "guilt trips" on the children for making accusations against him.
Then there were conflicting reports from two psychologists who disagreed about the likelihood of Peterson
re-offending upon release, coupled with his
apparent refusal to participate in prison treatment.
"The board has a pretty hard position on people who refuse to become involved in sex therapy that's available here," Garner told Peterson.
"I mean you basically have to satisfy us that you're no longer a risk to re-offend before we're willing to vote to get you out.
And when you fail the program that's provided you as a condition of probation, that doesn't speak very well of your likelihood of success."
Garner warned Peterson
to take a good look at his 2007 sentence expiration date "because that's the date you're facing if you don't do some good programming."
Parts of the 1993 hearing tapes are inaudible and all of the 1995 rehearing was inaudible, although paperwork pertaining to the 1995 hearing indicated that the parole board found that Peterson
had no remorse or apparent motivation to rehabilitate by his
"refusal to participate in available sex offender treatment, which he
needs" and his
refusal to submit to another psychological evaluation.
It was only after Peterson
was released that his
son and daughter came forward and recanted.
now-adult son wept as he
explained to officials that he
Despite being framed, Peterson
holds no ill will toward his
"[Peterson] honestly doesn't blame them at all because they were so little," Richards said.
But Reed said the state did everything it could to ensure Peterson
got a fair shake from the start and there was no misconduct or coercion on its part.
is really resilient," Richards said.