Sex Offender Playing Santa Faces Charges
And what have we learnd? dont trust a old man in a red suite HO HO HO I feel bad for the kid most of all she wont live a normal life they say that people who get victumized tend to seek out that type of person its really sad dont you think?
FOREST CITY, N.C. - A convicted sex offender who was playing Santa Claus has been accused of taking indecent liberties with an 11-year-old girl who portrayed Santa's elf.
Zay Harold Jones, 73, was arrested Sunday at a highway rest stop in Davie County after the child told a woman in a restroom that Jones had touched her inappropriately in his vehicle, authorities said.
Jones, of Ellenboro, was charged later in the day at the county detention center and released after posting a $25,000 bond.
The girl got help after convincing Jones that she was sick and needed the stop. The woman she encountered called police and waited with her until police arrived, said sheriff's Detective J.D. Hartman.
The girl, who had volunteered to work as an elf at Santa's House in Forest City on Saturday, was traveling with Jones to Greensboro, where he was to appear as Santa on Sunday, again with the girl as his elf.
The child's parents allowed her to travel with Jones after meeting and talking with him on a couple of occasions, the father said.
Jones pleaded guilty to assault on a female after being charged in 1981 with taking indecent liberties with a child, Rutherford County Chief Deputy C. Philip Byers said. In 1991, Jones was charged in Rockingham County with attempted rape and also pleaded guilty to assault on a female, Byers said.
Forest City Downtown Development Director Danielle Withrow said Jones has been the Santa for the town's Santa House for the past three years.
At least two adults were in the house with Santa and the children, she said.
"You live and learn, even with Santa," Withrow told The Daily Courier of Forest City. "We'll have to do criminal background checks on whoever plays Santa."
Jones was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 16.