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JEFFERSONVILLE, IN – An 18-year-old teacher’s assistant in Indiana has been accused of molesting at least 17 children ages 3 to 7 while working at an elementary school and a YMCA.

Michael Begin Jr. was first arrested in October after police received reports that he molested a 5-year-old girl at a YMCA where he worked. The girl told police that Begin “wouldn’t stop putting his hand down her pants while they were on the playground outside.”

During their investigation, two other children came forward and claimed Begin fondled them at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School where Begin worked as a teacher’s assistant.

Surveillance video captured footage at the school of Begin molesting one of them.

Begin was arrested the next day and reportedly told police that he was “sorry about what happened” and believed it was “an error in judgment.”

After being charged, Begin pleaded not guilty and was released from jail after he met his $10,000 bond. But that has all changed after more children started coming forward and reporting on Begin’s wandering hands.

So far, Begin is being accused of molesting 17 children, some more than once, and police there are probably more victims.

In light of these new accusations, Begin was ordered back to court where he was now facing 18 charges of level 4 felony child molestation and four counts of level 3 felony molestation.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull asked the judge to impose a $1 million dollar bond. Judge Andrew Adams didn’t grant his request, but did set Begin’s at a $100,000 cash only bond.

Begin’s attorney, who claims Begin is innocent of the charges, asked the judge what kind of safety precautions would be in place to protect her client while he was in jail. The judge replied that he knew the sheriff and trusted he would know what to do with Begin while he was in custody to guarantee his safety.

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The family of one of the victims prepared a statement questioning how Begin was able to molest that many children while working at the YMCA.

“Why did it take a girl finally going to her parents for him to be caught?,” read the statement. “We believe it speaks to the lack of leadership and oversight in the YMCA childcare program. The understaffing, level of distraction among staff, and again lack of oversight allowed this predator access and opportunity to abuse these girls.”

Police said their investigation is still underway and are asking anyone with further information to contact the Jeffersonville Police Department.

Oh, and how’s everyone been doing? Sorry for the absence. Honestly, was just a little burned out on reading the latest crime news. What was supposed to be a couple of days off turned into a couple weeks. Meh. But, unfortunately for you, I am back.

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