LEHI – A former vice squad officer is on the other side of a jail cell after he was caught in a reported prostitution sting around Valentine’s Day. Investigators say he was trying to recruit women to prostitute for him.
Investigators first made contact with David Moss from Lehi on social media, as he was going by the name “Pilot,” when he reportedly offered to pay a woman for “services such as kissing, touching and pleasure,” according to a police affidavit.
Moss then told the undercover officer he’d be willing to “manage” escorts, claiming it would be different than having a pimp. Utah County Sheriff’s Sergeant Spencer Cannon says Moss offered to provide protection and to teach the escorts how to avoid being caught by police.
“He would set up the appointments and they would do, as he said, ‘the entertaining,’” according to Cannon.
No matter what Moss was trying to call it, Cannon says it’s pimping.
“It’s not what he calls himself, it’s what he’s actually doing that meets the statute of exploitation of a prostitute,” he says.
Moss reportedly met one detective, face to face, and tried to teach her how to spot an officer by doing a “cop check,” which involves groping the man and making him expose himself.
Cannon says, “Apparently, he was under the understanding that you can do that and if you do certain things that there’s a certain way an officer can and cannot respond.”
The affidavit says Moss took one of the undercover officer’s hand and placed it over his genitals, then he exposed himself to them. A decoy was reportedly so upset about it, she locked herself in a bathroom.
“He didn’t figure out that these undercover detectives were cops until he left the room and another detective confronted him,” Cannon adds.
Police arrested Moss in his Lehi home on the 19th. Moss was a bishop for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the time of his arrest, but, a church spokesman says he’s been removed from that role.
The church spokesman issued a statement, saying, “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.”
Moss used to work for the St. George Police Department, but the Deseret News reports he was forced to resign after allegations of sexual misconduct.
He was booked into the Utah County Jail for exploitation of a prostitute, patronizing a prostitute, lewdness and sexual battery.
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