Local News

'Santa' posts bond for child sex charges

Posted March 6, 2012 6:56 a.m. EST
Updated March 6, 2012 8:38 a.m. EST

— A 70-year-old Cary man called "Santa John" is awaiting release from jail after posting a reduced bond for several child sex offenses, Wake County jail officials said early Tuesday.

Once he's released, John Thomas Peters, of 113 Crestpoint Court, will be under house arrest on electronic monitoring. He must also have no access to computers and no contact with children, other than supervised visits with his grandchildren.

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 on Monday.

Peters is charged 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.

Peters, who is known for portraying Santa Claus at malls and holiday events, is accused of having inappropriate conversations with a 15-year-old girl on the Internet. The girl's mother said he sent pornographic pictures and said he wanted to have sex with her daughter.