LDS bishop arrested in Utah human trafficking sting
Rebecca Green and D.J. Bolerjack, KSTU
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LEHI, Utah (KSTU) — A man who served as a bishop for a local LDS congregation and who formerly supervised a police vice squad was arrested after a human trafficking sting conducted in Lehi on Valentine’s Day.
According to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, the arrest was made as part of a human trafficking sting conducted Feb. 14.
Detectives say 51-year-old David N. Moss, using the alias “Pilot”, contacted women he believed to be prostitutes on social media. Moss told the women he could manage them, which he claimed was different from being a pimp.
Officers say Moss told the women he could protect them, help them avoid police, and book their clients on their behalf. He told the women he had “run” other girls in the past.
Moss ultimately met with the two undercover officers, and during that meeting he showed them cash and said he was “not opposed to paying” for services, detectives allege. He also detailed ways to avoid police and at that point forcibly grabbed one woman’s hand and placed it on his genitals.
The document states Moss then unzipped his pants and exposed himself to the two undercover detectives.
Moss was released that day and arrested Feb. 19 at his home in Lehi. Moss admitted to the details in the chats and the discussions but denied having “managed” other women previously, booking records state.
Detectives wrote that Moss’ current position as a religious leader and his prior work as a vice squad cop in St. George gave them reason to worry there may be more victims out there.
They said both positions placed him in contact with potentially vulnerable people. Detectives ask anyone who may have been victimized by Moss to contact them at (801) 851-4010.
At the time of his arrest, Moss was serving as the bishop for a congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to LDS.org, he oversaw the Mill Pond Ward in Lehi.
The LDS Church stated Wednesday it has taken steps to remove Moss from that position. See below for the church’s complete statement:
“The behavior alleged in this incident is completely unacceptable and unbecoming of any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and especially of someone serving in a position of local leadership. Upon learning of this situation, local leaders took immediate steps to relieve him of his role and to identify his replacement.”
Capt. Mike Giles, St. George Police, said Moss previously supervised their vice squad, but resigned his position in his department seven years ago. He said Moss was involved in a consensual sexual relationship that had “an on-duty component” but was not in any way related to the current allegations Moss faces.
Giles said Moss resigned after his case went to a pre-determination meeting, but before any recommendation for termination was made.
Moss was booked into jail for the Lehi incident on charges of exploiting a prostitute, patronizing a prostitute, sexual battery, and two counts of lewdness.
The human trafficking investigation netted several other arrests in Lehi.