m4185 BC-MN-TextMessage-Assau 04-22 0364 routed by d.nelson
Anoka County babysitter charged after 2-year-old molested
Eds: Updates throughout with additional quotes, details.
ANOKA, Minn. (AP) — Anoka County prosecutors charged a baby sitter with child endangerment after a 2-year-old girl in her care was allegedly molested.
Heather Ann Peterson, 20, of Ramsey was charged Friday and released without bail. She’s due back in court next month.
Prosecutors allege she put the twins she was watching in harm’s way March 10 when she exchanged sexually explicit text messages with a former boyfriend, Andrew J. Cordie, 20, of Ramsey.
In those messages, Cordie said he wanted to have sex with Peterson and the twins. Peterson allegedly said he could do perform sex acts on the girls and gave him permission to come over.
She told investigators she was trying to set him up. In fact, she called police hours before he arrived, but they didn’t respond because the messages weren’t a crime.
"I thought for sure there was no crime in trying to get someone put away for something disgusting and vile," Peterson told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. "But it looks like I was wrong."
Anoka County prosecutor Paul Young said he could not comment on Peterson’s call to police, but said the "current charges reflect her role in allowing or enabling an opportunity for the defendant to abuse the child."
Police responded to another call about two hours after the first call, by then the man arrived at the home in Anoka and allegedly attacked one of the little girls.
Officers said they found Cordie in a bedroom with a naked child and his belt undone. Peterson told police she saw him molesting the child.
Last month, prosecutors charged Cordie with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. According to a March 12 complaint, he admitted molesting one of the twins.
"I don’t think that (Peterson) was forthcoming from the beginning," Anoka Police Chief Philip Johanson said. "This charge is really a result of that. It’s a very tragic case."