Richmond County man charged with child porn, assault had position of trust in community

LOWER L’ARDOISE: Child pornography charges were levied against a Lower L’Ardoise man who held a position of trust in the community.

On October 1, 2019, RCMP investigators searched the home of 49-year-old James Darren Peters and seized his electronic devices. Child pornography was found after a recent search of the devices.

Peters was arrested on March 23 and charged with possession of child pornography. He was released by police on strict conditions and is scheduled to appear in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court on June 29.

According to RCMP spokesperson, Cpl. Jennifer Clarke, Peters held a “protected” position in the community where he had access to youth. As a result, the RCMP is reaching out to the public in the event there may be more victims. Police are appealing to guardians, parents and youth in the area to encourage anyone who may also be a victim to contact them.

Peters was charged last fall following a complaint that he sexually assaulted a young male at a department store in Port Hawkesbury.

At 5:15 p.m. on August 23, Inverness District RCMP said a nine-year-old boy was approached by an unknown man in the bathroom of an unnamed business on Paint Street in Port Hawkesbury.

An RCMP press release said the man forced the boy into a bathroom stall and locked the door. The man then attempted to pull down the boy’s pants but the boy got away and fled. Employees attempted to stop the man from leaving the business prior to police arrival but the suspect escaped.

Police and staff at the store searched the area but were not able to locate the suspect. Police obtained a description of the suspect from witnesses and surveillance photos, and released the information to the public. Tips and information that were received by the police helped to identify Peters.

On October 1, investigators obtained a search warrant and arrested Peters. He was charged with two counts of enticing a child from a parent, sexual interference, unlawful confinement, sexual assault, and assault.

Peters was held in custody and appeared in Port Hawkesbury Provincial Court on October 3. He was released by the court on strict conditions.

Police also learned that a similar incident occurred on August 19 at a department store in Sydney River, for which Peters was also charged.