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Raleigh man accused of child molestation could face deportation

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Peter McGettigan

RALEIGH, N.C. — A Scotsman and longtime Raleigh resident told a judge Thursday afternoon that he will likely lose his job after being charged with molesting two young girls. He could also face deportation, WTVD reported.

The prosecutor told the judge the accused, Peter McGettigan, 59, has confessed to the indecent liberties with two minors that began in 2015 and continued through April 2016.

The two girls, 7 and 10, were heard talking about the incident in school.

After the girls’ conversation was reported to police, authorities said McGettigan confessed to his wife and to investigators. He told the judge that his house in northwest Raleigh had recently been sold and he and his disabled wife were moving.

He also predicted he would lose his engineering job for a local technology firm because of the charges. One neighbor, whom he helped when she was widowed, was nearly in tears when she heard about the charges.

“I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe it,” said neighbor Jan Barwick. “He’s such a wonderful man.”

McGettigan faces up to 20 years in the four molestation charges. But, he is also facing a more serious charge of sex offense with a child. That charge carries a maximum sentence of life without parole and a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.

If McGettigan survives any sentence, he could be sent back to his native Scotland, because he is not a U.S. citizen and there is an immigration detainer in his file.