Local News

Bond reduced for 'Santa' on child sex charges

Posted March 5, 2012 11:27 a.m. EST

— A judge on Monday reduced the bond for "Santa John," a 70-year-old Cary man who is charged with several child sex offenses.

John Thomas Peters, of 113 Crestpoint Court, 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.

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.

If Peters posts bond, Morgan ordered that he be under house arrest on electronic monitoring, that he have no access to computers and that he have no contact with children, other than supervised visits with his grandchildren.