CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WHAS11) – A Jeffersonville High School senior accused of child molestation was on placed house arrest Monday, despite the Clark County prosecutor’s request to raise his bond.
Michael Begin, Jr., 18, is accused of fondling two 6-year-old girls on Oct. 17 at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, where he worked as a teacher’s assistant through a cadet teaching program.
According to court documents, at least one of the alleged incidents was captured on school surveillance. Begin was arrested the next day on two counts level 4 felony child molestation. He was released the same day after posting $10,000 bail.
Begin said nothing Monday as he entered and left his court appearance. Inside the courtroom, he appeared emotionless as his attorney entered a ‘not guilty’ plea on his behalf.
A woman who attended on behalf of one of the victims simply said, “they were innocent little kids.”
Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said last week that he would ask the judge to raise Begin’s bond to $100,000 full cash or, as a fallback, place him in an electronic monitoring program.
Judge Vicki Carmichael opted for house arrest, ordering Begin to be electronically monitored through the trial.
Mull expressed disappointment with the decision after the hearing but said it was better than leaving Begin unsupervised.
“It’s certainly not as effective of a method in protecting the community as having someone in jail, however, it’s better than nothing,” Mull said.
Mull said he will again ask the judge to raise Begin’s bond when he files additional charges. Mull has said there are additional victims at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School and at least one at the YMCA in Jeffersonville, where Begin worked in childcare.
Begin is due back in court Nov. 2.