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Lawsuit accuses Crandon mass murderer of pre-police days' crime

Tyler Peterson - the sheriff's deputy who killed six young people and wounded another in Crandon - admitted having sex as a teen and should never have been hired as a police officer.

That's what some of the victims' relatives claim in a new revision to a civil lawsuit against local authorities.

It said Peterson, who killed himself after the 2007 massacre, committed statutory rape with a girl when he was 17 - he admitted his actions - and was never charged at the request of the victim and her father.

The plaintiffs' lawyer, former state Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, said the allegation was dug up in police records in Crandon.

And she said her clients are concerned that the Forest County Sheriff's Department and the Crandon Police Department both hired an officer who has admitted breaking the law.

She said they're also concerned about whether Peterson lied on his job applications. Officials have not commented.

The lawsuit, filed last fall, accused officials of negligence in hiring Peterson.

He was 20 when he confronted an on-again, off-again girlfriend, and when she rebuffed him, he shot her and six others.

One survived by playing dead. The survivor and relatives of four the murder victims filed the civil suit.

The new allegations also accused Peterson illegally drinking after becoming an officer, using his police weapons to shoot deer out of season and preventing his girlfriend from going to Nicolet College in Rhinelander.

A court hearing on the suit is set for next Feb. 18.