JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — An Indiana high school student facing 22 new counts of child molestation appeared in court on Monday. Several family members of the 17 victims were in attendance, according to reports from CBS affiliate WLKY.
18-year-old Michael Begin is accused of molesting 17 children ages 3 to 7 while working at a Jeffersonville YMCA and as an elementary school teaching assistant.
Begin was arrested last October and pleaded not guilty on two counts of child molestation. Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull announced Friday that he would file 22 more charges against Begin, saying that more people have come forward since the arrest.
Begin’s attorney, Jennifer Culotta, says he maintains his innocence. Begin was remanded to jail Monday on a $100,000 cash bond.
According to court records, police opened an investigation on Sept. 25 after they received reports of a 5-year-old girl being molested at a YMCA. The girl reportedly told her mother that Begin “wouldn’t stop putting his hand down her pants while they were on the playground outside.”
On Oct. 17, police received reports of two first-graders being molested at Thomas Jefferson Elementary. The two children told their parents that Begin fondled them, and surveillance video captured footage of Begin molesting one of them, according to court records.
A father of one of the victims called Begin a “monster” in court, and other family members of the victims expressed concern that he would be out by Monday night, reports WLKY.
Tina Stahl, the grandmother of one of the victims, told WLKY after the hearing that the $100,000 bond was too low.
“My granddaughter’s got to live the rest of her life knowing that somebody she was supposed to trust can sit in the YMCA, in front of God knows how many other adults, and have some teenage boy mess with her,” Stahl said. “And she’s got to live the rest of her life with this. What’s he getting? Nothing.”
A trial date has been set for Aug. 21.
Subscribe To OurWeekly Update
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.