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Gov. Herbert's half brother sent to prison in teen enticement case

PROVO — The half brother of Gary Herbert, who cited his relation to the governor at the time of his arrest, was sentenced to prison Monday for attempting to entice a teenager for sex over the internet.

Paul Gordon Peters, 57, was ordered to serve consecutive terms of zero to five years in prison for enticing, soliciting, seducing or luring a minor by internet or text, as well as attempted sexual exploitation of a minor.

Peters began chatting over the internet with an officer posing as a 13-year-old girl on May 20, acknowledging he was aware of her age, saying he wanted to take her virginity, and sending explicit photos, according to a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court.

During the chats, Peters claimed he had engaged in sex acts with other underage girls, the affidavit states.

Peters, of Provo, was arrested May 31 when he arrived at a Provo convenience store believing he was meeting a 13-year-old girl for sex, according to police. At the time, he identified himself to officers as Herbert's half brother.

Following his arrest, Peters allowed deputies to search his phone where they discovered child pornography, charging documents state. Investigators also discovered a text conversation "with another female" in which he claimed he intended to have sex with an 8-year-old, the affidavit states.

Both charges were reduced from second-degree felonies to third-degree felonies as part of plea deal. In exchange for Peters' plea, prosecutors dropped three counts of dealing in materials harmful to a minor, a third-degree felony; two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.

The charges were filed in June, at which time Herbert's spokesman, Jon Cox, said in a prepared statement: "Regardless of who is being accused, the governor believes these are horrific allegations. His parents were divorced when the governor was very young, and the two were raised in different homes."

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

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