Local/State

Investigation of Santa impersonator expands

Monday, June 18, 2012

Search warrants made public Monday show Raleigh police detectives are looking into the possibility that there are more alleged victims of a Wake County Santa Claus impersonator accused of trying to exploit minors.

Seventy-year-old John Peters, who is also known as "Santa John," was first arrested in January after police said he tried to get an Apex teenager to pose for nude photos.

Peters faced new charges in March when a second alleged victim came forward who said he solicited her at a YMCA in Wakefield. Now, search warrants show police are looking at the possibility he contacted a third girl online.

The warrants show police wanted to look at his email and social media accounts. Prosecutors said Monday they can't comment on ongoing cases.

Peters is only charged in the first two cases. In the first case, he was charged with first-degree sexual exploitation, dissemination of pornography to minors under the age of 16, and solicitation of a child by computer to commit an unlawful sexual act. In the second case, he was charged with solicitation of a child by computer.

He's free on bond.

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wake county, sex offense, local/state
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