RALEIGH — A Cary man known as Santa John has pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and soliciting a child by computer.
John Thomas Peters, 70, was sentenced Friday to 20 months in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender.
Police arrested Peters, known as Santa John on the Triangle Santa Buddies website, at a shopping center on U.S. 64 and Lake Pine Drive in Apex in January. Officers were waiting for Peters after having set up a sting.
Peters was charged with trying to solicit a 15-year-old girl for a sexually explicit photo shoot.
Peters was charged initially with first-degree sexual exploitation, as well as dissemination of pornography to minors under the age of 16 and solicitation of a child by computer to commit an unlawful sexual act.
According to investigators, Peters contacted the teen through Facebook after finding her on a modeling site. He posed as a photographer with a fake name and asked the girl clearly identified on the modeling website as being 15 years old about posing in lingerie. The girls mother contacted Apex police.