Spokane sheriff’s detectives last week arrested 85-year-old Marvin E. Petersen of Spokane Valley due to a series of alleged sexual assaults stretching back decades.
Investigators believe due to the unreported or uncharged (expired statute of limitations) sexual assault behavior dating back to the mid-to-late 1950s discovered during their investigation, there are potentially unidentified young victims, said Deputy Mark Gregory, sheriff’s spokesman.
On Nov. 23, detectives arrested Petersen after a several months’ long investigation into allegations of sexual abuse that occurred over the last two years of a now 12-year-old female victim.
During the investigation, detectives learned of past unreported or uncharged sexual abuse by Petersen stemming back to the 1950s. Some of the known sexual-assault behavior was reported to law enforcement in Eugene, Ore., but charges could not be filed since the statute of limitations had expired.
The female victims of this abuse range from approximately 9 to 14 years of age.
The victims are family or former family members and/or children living with or in the area of Petersen. Petersen’s current address is located in the 13900 block of East Sixth Avenue.
Petersen was charged two counts of first-degree rape of a child, first-degree child molestation, four counts of second-degree child molestation and unlawful imprisonment.
Although Petersen has no known criminal conviction history, detectives believe -- due to his reported history of sexual abuse over the past 60 years -- there are potential victims who have not been identified.
Petersen’s photo is being released to assist detectives as they work to identify any possible victims or witnesses who have not yet come forward.
Investigators urge anyone who believes they have been victimized by Petersen, or has any information regarding potential suspicious or criminal activity, to call Sexual Assault Unit Detective Brandon Armstrong at 477-6610.