Warrants: Police found sex toys in trunk of Cary 'Santa'
Posted February 1, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — A 70-year-old Cary man who is facing several child sex charges had sex toys in the trunk of his red convertible sports car with the tag "SantaCar," according to search warrants.
Investigators also collected video and computer equipment from his car and home that they believe was used to take and store pornographic pictures of children, warrants state.
John Thomas Peters, of 113 Crestpoint Court, was charged last month with first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, solicitation of a child by computer or certain other electronic devices to commit an unlawful sex act and dissemination of obscene material to a minor under the age of 16 years.
Investigators believe Peters, who refers to himself as "Santa John" because he has portrayed Santa Claus at holiday events for several years, had conversations of a sexual nature with a 15-year-old girl on the Internet. Warrants allege that he got the girl's contact information on a teen modeling website.
Identifying himself as a photographer named Brad T. Taylor, investigators say Peters contacted the girl on Facebook and through text messages to tell her he liked her modeling photos and to ask if she would pose for him.
The girl repeatedly reminded him of her age, warrants state, but Peters' requests gradually grew more inappropriate. He initially asked that she pose for glamour shots, then in lingerie, then in the nude and eventually in photos involving bondage and sex acts with other men and women, investigators allege.
The girl's mother told investigators that Peters also sent her daughter pornographic pictures and said he wanted to have sex with her. She contacted authorities, who posed as the victim to lure Peters to an Apex McDonald's, where he was arrested by undercover officers on Jan. 11.
Authorities seized four sex toys, two bottles of lubricant, a box of condoms, ropes, a blindfold, various articles of clothing, a camera, three tripods, a flood light and three Coronitas, or mini bottles of Corona brand beer, among other items, from his Mazda Miata.
Subsequent searches of the home Peters shares with his wife turned up five Santa Claus photos, a collection of paperwork titled "Santa's List" with photos of children, two cameras, nine external hard drives, two laptop computers, an Apple iPad, three cellphones and various flash drives, memory cards, DVDs and floppy disks, warrants state.