It’s all too common for the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department to catch child sex offenders.

However, a new case is especially disturbing given that the alleged perpetrator is an elderly retired minister and the incident in question occurred at the Piedmont Triad Farmer’s Market on Sandy Ridge Road.

On Thursday, July 27, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department reported that detectives with the Major Crimes Investigative Unit had investigated two reported recent sex offenses that were said to have occurred at the Farmers Market.

The reported incidents occurred on Saturday, June 24 and Friday, July 14.

According to a July 27 press release sent out by the department, “As a result of the investigations, 71-year-old Ivan Hugh-McDonald Peden was charged on July 26, 2023 with Felony Indecent Liberties with a Child, Felony Indecent Exposure, Misdemeanor Sexual Battery, and Misdemeanor Secret Peeping.”

Peden was being held in the county jail in downtown Greensboro on a $50,000 bond.

According to the warrant for the June incident, “On or about the date of offense shown and in the county named above the defendant unlawfully and willfully did for the purpose of sexual gratification engage in sexual contact, by grabbing the victim’s chest and pinching their nipple … by force and against the will of the other person.”

Also on that day, in that same warrant, “On or about the date of offense shown and in the county named above the defendant unlawfully and willfully did peep secretly into a room, men’s restroom at Farmers Market Piedmont occupied by another person.”

According to the warrant issued for the July 14 incident, “On or about the date of offense shown and in the county named above the defendant unlawfully, willfully, and feloniously did expose his private parts, his penis while masturbating, in a public place, the Farmers Market Piedmont Triad, in the presence of another person, D.D., who was less than 16 years of age, namely 13 years of age, for the purpose of arousing and gratifying the defendant’s sexual desire. At the time of this offense, the defendant was at least eighteen years old, namely 71 years of age.”

According to the Sheriff’s Department, no additional information about the cases will be released due to the fact that a minor is involved and due to the sensitive nature of the investigations.

Bria Evans, communications specialist for the Sheriff’s Department, said that there had been some questions as to whether or not there would be increased security at the Farmer’s Market in the future.  She said that would be up to those running the market because the security there is provided by market organizers, who often use off duty law enforcement officers.

Evans also said that the department is not releasing some information because officers want any other victims to feel comfortable coming forward and sharing their experiences with the Sheriff’s Department.

The department calls the investigation “ongoing,” and detectives are asking anyone with information about the incidents or related ones to contact Detective Z. Cabral at 336-641-5773 or Sergeant J. Wright at 336-641-5971.

Alternatively, they can call Greensboro CrimeStoppers at 336-373-1000, where callers can remain anonymous.