In this photo provided by the Imperial County Sheriff’s Office, Kelsey Peterson, 25, is pictured in El Centro, Calif., on Nov. 5, 2007. The Nebraska teacher is in federal custody and expected to face federal charges of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor _ a former student who is 13 _ an offense punishable by 10 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

New Visa May Aid Boy in Teacher Sex Case
The Associated Press
November 11, 2007

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) â?? A 13-year-old illegal immigrant who fled to his native Mexico amid a sex scandal with his schoolteacher could be eligible to return to the United States under a new visa the government started granting the week before he disappeared.

The visa helps illegal immigrants who are victims of sex crimes. If the boy, who spent most of his life in Lexington, Neb., qualifies, he could stay legally in the United States for four years and eventually apply for permanent residency. It also would extend temporary residency to his parents and his unmarried siblings under 18, if they applied for it.

“It’s a win-win,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services spokeswoman Marilu Cabrera said of the so-called “U” visa. “It helps us and law enforcement be able to solve a crime, and it certainly helps the individual who is a victim of a crime.”

The boy and middle school teacher Kelsey Peterson were found in a mall parking lot in the border town of Mexicali, Mexico, 1,500 miles from where the pair disappeared on Oct. 26. Authorities searched for them for one week.

Peterson, 25, remains in federal custody in El Centro, Calif. A judge denied bail for her Wednesday, and she was expected to be sent back to Nebraska to face federal charges of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor, which is punishable by 10 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The Associated Press had previously named the boy but later removed his name from stories because the most recent charges allege he was the victim of a sex crime.

The boy told the AP earlier this week that he would be willing to return to the United States to testify against Peterson.

“That’s something that we would have to consider as circumstances came up,” said Joe Stecher, the U.S. attorney for Nebraska. “There are various methods that we could secure his presence here for testimony purposes, and we’ll just deal with the circumstances as they come up.”

Dawson County Attorney Elizabeth Waterman did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Cabrera said a conviction would not be necessary for the boy to qualify for the visa.

“It doesn’t matter what the outcome of the case is as long as they cooperate,” she said.

A law enforcement agency, prosecutor or judge in the Peterson case would have to vouch for the boy and say he helped in investigating or prosecuting Peterson in order for the boy to qualify.

The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 established “U” visas to encourage illegal immigrants to report crimes against them. Cabrera said reviews of the rules by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice delayed issuing the visas until this year.

7 Responses to “New Visa May Aid Boy In Teacher Sex Case”
  1. The Watchdog says:

    What the hell makes a 25 year old woman want to have sex with a 13 year old? This stuff happens way too often.

  2. Faye says:

    Extreme case of immaturity?

  3. Sandman says:

    Stories like this are so weird, not unlike the pedophile priests or the daycare abusers. These stories also always seem to have more to them because in some cases, the teachers are married, well educated and good looking. What could an adult woman get out of a relationship with a child that she could not get from an adult? …Something the the water?

  4. Mayday says:

    Faye-You hit the nail on the head! I wonder if Kelsey wanted to relive her teenage years. She had a baby in high school and was very popular. She probably remembers her days before having a baby as the best ones of her life.

    This situation is not a win-win! The boy was in a boys home. He belonged to a gang. From what I’ve read his mother had her head in the sand and refused to believe that her son did bad things. Fernando needs to stay in Mexico with his father and the rest of his family needs to be sent there to join him!

    The new U visa and the publicity generated by this case is going to lead to false crime reporting. Unfortunately it is going to be the ones we want here least who will take advantage of the system.

    By the way just so everyone understands I do believe Kelsey should be punished for her crime. However-Fernando and his family are not people we want to grant legal status to.

  5. George(formerly-Ed) says:

    Win-Win Bullshit that little gang banger should stay in Meeheko & his mother and siblings should be ent back as well,

  6. Mayday says:

    Is he or isn’t he 13 years old?

  7. 1Madmomma says:

    Kelsey needs to have to stay in Mexico with him. We have to start sending real LOUD, CLEAR messages to these people. They need to understand that they will pay a steep price for their crimes. Last I knew, it was a crime to have sex with a 13yr old, boy, or girl. We as a society get sicker by the day. What the hell is wrong with these people. Being abused as a child in any fashion, or any other excuse, is just that an EXCUSE! CRAP!

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