Former JCSU employee accused of raping girl 20 years ago turns self in, officials say

Former JCSU employee accused of raping girl 20 years ago turns self in, officials say
Peterson
Peterson
(Amanda Foster/WBTV)
(Amanda Foster/WBTV)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A former Johnson C. Smith University employee who allegedly raped a woman nearly 20 years ago turned himself on Monday, officials said.

Michael Peterson, 59, was arrested around 9 a.m. Monday and charged with four counts of statutory rape and four counts of indecent liberties with a minor.

Peterson was a teacher's assistant at Lake Norman Charter and resigned Monday before turning himself in, the Charlotte Observer reports.

An arrest warrant was issued March 9 for Peterson in the case of an alleged rape that occurred 20 years ago on the JCSU campus. The victim was reportedly 15 years old at the time.

A Charlotte woman filed a report in December claiming she was sexually assaulted while she was a teenager attending a program at the university. She decided to come forward and tell her story, as she spoke exclusively to WBTV about the incident.

"I just remember standing there like a statue and he just basically had his way with me," now 35-year-old Queen Amani Miller says of the alleged assault.

She says it happened several times while she was in a college prep program. "After the initial shock I just started crying, and then I went to praying," she says of learning the news.

The alleged victim says it took 20 years to come to terms with happened to her, filing the police report three months ago. "For so long I held this in and I never thought a day like this would come," Miller says.

She says she still has questions for the university. "How could they not do more to help and protect me?"

The school said the first it heard about her claims was just before the report was filed in December, and that they've cooperated with investigators since.

Peterson reportedly stopped working at the university in 1999. In total, he was given a $60,000 unsecured bond.

Peterson's court date was not listed.

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