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PROVO — The half brother of Gov. Gary Herbert, who identified himself as such at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty Monday to trying to entice someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl.
Paul Gordon Peters, 57, pleaded guilty Monday to enticing, soliciting, seducing or luring a minor by internet or text, as well as attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, with both charges reduced to third-degree felonies.
Peters will be sentenced to prison at a Dec. 12 hearing, according to court documents. Each charge carries a potential sentence of up to five years in prison.
Additional charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal, including 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 one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.
On May 20, Peters began chatting over the internet with an officer posing as a 13-year-old girl, acknowledging he was aware of her age, saying he wanted to take her virginity, and sending explicit photos as they chatted, 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 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.
Following his arrest, Peters allowed deputies to search his phone and 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.
Charges were filed in June, at which time 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."