Author Elizabeth Depompei

A Jeffersonville police detective commended what he calls the courage of allegedly victimized children and their parents after a Jeffersonville 18-year-old was charged with 20 additional counts of child molesting Friday morning.

Michael Begin, a Jeffersonville High School student, was charged with two counts of child molesting in October. He was accused of molesting two children, one at the YMCA in Jeffersonville where he was employed and another at Thomas Jefferson Elementary where he was in an Early Childhood Education program.

After media reports of the initial charges, police received tips from more alleged victims. On Friday, three months after the initial charges, Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull announced he was filing another 20 counts of child molesting against Begin.

The charges account for 17 alleged victims between the ages of 3 and 7, with some children saying they were molested more than once. Five of the incidents reportedly happened at Thomas Jefferson and 12 at the YMCA on Hamburg Pike.

“It’s possible there are other victims that we’re not aware of yet,” Mull said.

Begin’s attorney, Jennifer Culotta, said her client maintains his innocence.

“… And until we receive discovery we will not have any further comment at this point and time because we don’t have any police reports substantiating or advising (of the new charges),” she said.

Begin, who was released from jail in October after paying a $10,000 cash bond and placed on electronic monitoring, is scheduled to appear in court Monday morning. Because the charges are an amendment to an existing case, Mull said a court will not issue a warrant for Begin’s arrest before then.

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