BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — New information has been discovered for the investigation into the Panama City man accused of sexually exploiting local teenagers.
Lynn Haven Raiders youth football program officials said 31-year-old Zachary Peterson was a coach for their 11 and 12-year-old children for the 2020 football season.
Program officials said he then started the Jr. Bucs football team with some other coaches.
“Unfortunately anytime somebody has the desire to sexually molest kids, they’re going to put themselves in a position around kids,” Bay County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigator Lieutenant Jeremy Mathis said. “They just are.”
Peterson is now being charged with 11 counts of lewd and lascivious battery.
“The lewd and lascivious battery charges are in reference to sexual activity with Peterson,” Mathis said.
He’s also charged with several counts of solicitation of a minor via computer or electronic device.
Investigators said Peterson would ask his victims to send him inappropriate pictures.
He allegedly paid them too.
“We have obtained more information from one of the two victims that we are speaking with that led to the new charges against Peterson,” the investigator said. “The other two have moved out of state so we’re in the process of trying to run them down to get interviews with them by law enforcement in Georgia and I believe New York.”
Mathis said Peterson joked during his first interview.
“His attitude was very much changed in the second interview in there was no more indication of joking.”
If you have any more information pertaining to this case, Bay County Sheriff’s Deputies ask you to call them.