Jeff High student could face more molestation charges for 'multiple other victims'
JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Charged with molesting two six-year-old girls, a Jeffersonville High School student faced a judge Monday, and could be back in court soon as prosecutors say they know of multiple other victims.
Michael Begin Junior, 18, currently faces two felony counts of child molestation after police say he was caught on camera assaulting the girls at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.
Prosecutors now say more charges and more victims could be announced this week.
Begin silently walked into court with his family and his attorneys. He made a $10,000 bond and was out of jail, but Monday the prosecutor's office requested a $100,000 cash bond, saying Begin is a danger to the community.
A Jeffersonville Police investigation charges on Oct. 17, Begin was working as a teacher's assistant at Thomas Jefferson Elementary when he began fondling two six-year-old girls under their clothing as they took a Reading Counts test in the hallway. Police say the girls told their mothers and surveillance video backed up the stories.
Begin, who was also working in child care at the Clark County YMCA in Jeffersonville, is being investigated for allegations there in late September.
"This sort of a case, with child molesting allegations with numerous victims that I'm aware of, I firmly feel that a high, cash-only bond is the only appropriate bond in a case such as this," said Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull.
Begin's attorney entered a not guilty plea, telling the judge he's just 18 with no prior criminal record. He made the case that Begin had already posted a $10,000 dollar bond.
Mull said the request for $100,000 cash was reasonable.
Instead, the judge put Begin on home incarceration, much to the dismay of the victims' families who were in the courtroom. But that ruling could change this week if more victims are identified, which Mull says will likely happen in the next couple of days.
"I've been in contact with the Jeffersonville Police Department and I'm aware of multiple other victims. I don't want to give a number publicly at this time, but I can tell you there are numerous additional victims," he said. Mull went on to say there is one case at the YMCA, and others at Thomas Jefferson Elementary.
Mull was asked about the timing of the police investigation at the YMCA in September, and why Begin was still allowed to work with children after an initial allegation was made.
Mull said that timeline should certainly be looked at but he couldn't say if any mistakes were made.
Begin faces two to 12 years for each felony count of molestation if convicted.
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