Moises Escoto, 36, of Temple Terrace, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States was a youth pastor at Iglesia de Cristo Misionera Mahanaim Church in Tampa, Hillsborough County. In 2021, he started contacting a teenager, then 15, on Sniffies.
Blake Gallagher launched Sniffies in Seattle, Washington, USA in 2018. It is a dating web app for gay, bisexual and bicurious men.
Via Sniffies, Escoto solicited the teenager for sexually explicit photos and videos in exchange for money and gifts. Between May 2021 and March 2022, the youth pastor also met up with the teenager and they engaged in sex acts.
The teenager’s mother later found disturbing content on her child’s cellphone. She immediately contacted the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
On February 9, 2023, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation and arrested Escoto. He was charged with resisting officer without violence, criminal disclosure, human trafficking for commercial sexual activity, lewd or lascivious battery, traveling to meet minor after using computer services/devices to solicit to certain illegal acts, use of computer services for lewd or lascivious exhibition, transmission of harmful material to minor, unlawful use of two-way communications device and unlawful sex with a minor.
Iglesia de Cristo Misionera Mahanaim Church fired Escoto after the arrest. As of February 20, 2023, he remains at the Falkenburg Road Jail in Tampa on a $138,500 bond.
Also accused of victimizing a minor on Sniffies was Joel Lutz, 38, of New Port Richey, Pasco County, Florida. On February 15, 2023, he was arrested in Pinellas County, Florida.
Categories: crimes, NEWS, North America, Social Issues, United States
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