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Cary 'Santa' faces new charge of soliciting girl online

Posted March 14, 2012

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— A 70-year-old Cary man who goes by the nickname "Santa John" surrendered to police Wednesday on new charges of soliciting a child by computer in Raleigh.

Police said John Thomas Peters, of 113 Crestpoint Court, solicited a 13-year-old girl online through Facebook in October and set up a meeting with her outside a YMCA on Wakefield Pines Drive. Warrants state that Peters intended to "commit an unlawful sex act" at the time, but police said Wednesday that the meeting was brief and there was no evidence that a sex crime took place.

Peters posted a $30,000 bond and is due back in court Thursday.

"Santa John," who is currently under house arrest for pending child sex charges in Cary, is known for portraying Santa Claus at malls and holiday events.

In January, Cary police charged Peters 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.

According to search warrants, investigators believe Peters had inappropriate conversations with a 15-year-old girl on the Internet, sent her pornographic pictures and said he wanted to have sex with her.

As a condition of his bond, Peters is not allowed to use a computer or have any contact with children, besides supervised visits with his grandchildren.

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  • TheBullCity Mar 15, 2012

    "It is inexplicable that bail was lowered to a mere $100,000 which allows him to get out of prison by handing over $10,000. This is clearly out of line with the bail levels set in other child predator cases in our state."

    Apples and oranges. At this point, he has not been accused of actually molesting or raping a child. He is only accused of attempting to. I'm holding out hope that this man was stopped before he could really do any damage.

    If he shows up for trial and doesn't commit any crimes while on bail, will you admit that you were wrong?

  • Its the who what Mar 15, 2012

    Cary. The most dangerous town in NC. You cant tell me that more gross and violent actions happen more in Cary than ANYWHERE else in NC!!!

  • westernwake1 Mar 15, 2012

    "westernwake1: So do you understand now why he was rightly released on bail? They were able to use a number of precautions to assure he would not be a danger to the community while awaiting trial." - TheBullCity

    The average bail in cases involving child predators is above $500,000 in North Carolina. Nobody in the community who has been paying attention to this case understands the actions of Judge Morgan - "District Judge Robert Rader set Peters' bond at $600,000 following his January arrest, but Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan lowered it to $100,000."

    It is inexplicable that bail was lowered to a mere $100,000 which allows him to get out of prison by handing over $10,000. This is clearly out of line with the bail levels set in other child predator cases in our state.

    Shouldn't the bail level set for 'Santa' be aligned with those who have been accused of similar crimes and have similar assets in our state?

  • TeenDad2electricboogaloo Mar 15, 2012

    It quite clearly states that this event happened in OCTOBER. Before he was arrested the first time in Jan, so he was not out on bond or on house arrest when this happened. Reading comprehension FTW.

  • TheBullCity Mar 15, 2012

    westernwake1: So do you understand now why he was rightly released on bail? They were able to use a number of precautions to assure he would not be a danger to the community while awaiting trial.

    No go in peace and be patient. If evidence exists to support the allegations, he will get his punishment, don't you worry.

  • The Fox Mar 15, 2012

    They ought to cut off his last name.

  • westernwake1 Mar 15, 2012

    "Correction: It is the 8th amendment" - TheBullCity

    In reality the modern bail system in the U.S. comes from the Judiciary Act of 1789. The Act specified which types of crime were bailable and set bounds on the judges' discretion in setting bail.

    http://www.bail.com/history.htm

    All of this however was trumped by the Bail Reform Act of 1966.

  • toofarout Mar 15, 2012

    PLS take Santa out of his name!!! Just say he dressed like santa

  • BigUNCFan Mar 15, 2012

    Ticksmeoff

    House arrest is just that, in your house, NOT JAIL.

    If you are not in jail and have the bracelet, they can only monitor where you are, not what you are actually doing while there. I think they caught him after the fact using computer records but the point is you can do a lot of bad stuff while being at your house like you are supposed to be with house arrest. They don't have total control like having you in a jail cell.

  • BigUNCFan Mar 15, 2012

    This guy is galactically stupid to do this while out on bond.

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