Ex-YMCA Counselor Accused of Sexually Abusing Several Boys in 1990s, Early 2000s
Detectives with the Kernersville Police Department say that a former counselor at the Kernersville Family YMCA sexually assaulted several young boys he met at the facility in the 1990s and into the early 2000s. According to search warrants, Michael Todd Pegram used his position of trust as a counselor to meet the boys, who he would later sexually assault at his home and at the YMCA facilities.
The search warrants also say that Pegram video recorded some of the sexual assaults and kept video cassettes either in one of his sheds at his home or a tin box buried in his backyard.
On Monday, November 26, the 46-year-old was indicted on 21 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child, five counts of first-degree sex offense, one count of attempted first-degree sex offense, and one count of statutory sex offense. These indictments allege that the incidents of sexual abuse occurred between January 1, 1991, and December 31, 2001 and that there were eight different victims – all boys who were at least 12 years old or under age 16, depending on the charge.
Pegram was arrested on November 8, 2017, while he was employed at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. He is being held in the Forsyth County Jail with bond set at $2 million. No trial date has been set.
Legal Options For Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com helps survivors of child sexual abuse and other sexual violence find justice and support in civil courtrooms. We have asked him for some input into the legal options available to survivors who have been sexually abused by someone in a position of authority or trust:
In cases of child sexual abuse, the abuser is often someone close to the victim. We regularly see this in cases that involve authority figures or those in positions of trust, such as youth organization volunteers, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, etc. The victims of these heinous crimes deserve justice, which is why it’s crucial to make sure both the abuser and any negligent third parties are held accountable.
While law enforcement will handle the prosecution of the abuser, the criminal justice system often fails to directly address the needs of survivors. Fortunately, these survivors can find justice and financial compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. These lawsuits also demand accountability from third parties (such as an employer or organization) whose negligence contributed to the abuse, such as a failure to report allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement.
If you or someone you love is a survivor of child sexual abuse and you’d like to learn more about your legal options, consider speaking to one of our experienced sexual assault survivors attorneys.