Local News

Cary 'Santa' pleads guilty to child sex charges

Posted September 28, 2012

— A Cary man who played Santa Claus at area malls has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from accusations that he solicited a 15-year-old girl over the Internet for sex.

John Thomas Peters, 70, of 113 Crestpoint Court, was arrested in January on several charges after police picked him up at a fast-food restaurant in Apex, where he had planned to meet a teen.

Peters pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and soliciting a child by computer.

He was sentenced to 20 to 36 months in prison and must register as a sex offender when he's released.

His prison sentence is expected to begin Oct. 5.

Peters was arrested again in March on accusations that he also met a teen whom he found on Facebook and met her.

Court documents allege that Peters referred to himself as an amateur photographer looking for models.


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  • itsmyownopinion Oct 5, 2012

    After this, families will no longer think of Santa Claus in the same way.

    You are exactly right. I wonder how many families dread pulling out their Christmas photos of their children on Santa's knee just to see if they have him in those photos. So far I have not been able to do it.

  • itsmyownopinion Oct 5, 2012

    WRAL, I just have to ask, WHY did you bury this story so quickly? While I'm sick of seeing him, these news stories related to the sexual abuse of children need to be front page and center to raise awareness that any underage individual is at risk and any adult walking around in our communities, whatever their status or profession, can be a pervert looking for their next victim.

  • AX MAN Oct 1, 2012

    I'll bet Mrs. Santa is so mad she could shoot Santa's Roudolf

  • danunger Oct 1, 2012

    Come on WRAL, don't call him Santa, just refer to him as John T Perv.

  • 426X3 Oct 1, 2012

    20 to 36 months! That's a joke. Maybe someone in prison will educate him on his wrong doing?

  • Coolbreeze Oct 1, 2012


  • westernwake1 Oct 1, 2012

    After this, families will no longer think of Santa Claus in the same way.