An 18-year-old teaching assistant from Jeffersonville, Indiana man is accused of molesting at least 17 children while working at a local YMCA and as a teaching assistant at an elementary school.
The victims range in age from just 3 to 7, according to the Associated Press. Police believe that the number of victims could be higher than 17.
"It's possible there are other victims that we're not aware of yet," Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said.
On Friday, Mull filed 20 counts against Michael Begin Jr. Back in October, Begin was charged with two counts of child molestation. He pleaded not guilty.
An investigation into Begin’s conduct began back in September after a 5-year-old girl told her mother that he "wouldn't stop putting his hand down her pants while they were on the [YMCA] playground outside."
A month later, police were alerted to two first-graders, who were allegedly molested by Begin at the elementary school where he worked. In October, Begin allegedly confessed to police, stating that "he was sorry about what happened." He allegedly called it an error in judgment.
Begin's lawyer Jennifer Culotta told the News and Tribune that Begin is maintaining his innocence.
She stated, "... 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].”
Begin was released from jail in October after making a $10,000 bond. He was in court on Monday.
Mull said that this case is especially heinous. He told WDRB, “I have been a prosecutor since 1999. I can tell you that I have never had one offender victimize 17 children as we do in this case.”
[Photo: Clark County Jail]