Former St. George Police officer sentenced from human trafficking sting

Composite image | David Moss, 52, booking photo courtesy of Utah County Sheriff's Office via Fox 13, St. George News / Cedar City News

ST. GEORGE — A former St. George Police Department gang and vice squad supervisor was sentenced Tuesday in 4th District Court in American Fork for exploiting a prostitute and misdemeanor sexual battery, the conclusion to a case stemming from an arrest during a human trafficking sting on Valentine’s Day.

David Moss, 52, of Pleasant Grove, booking photo taken in Utah County, Feb. 19, 2019 | File photo courtesy of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office via Fox 13, St. George News

David Moss, 52, of Lehi, appeared in court on Tuesday with his attorney, Steven Russell, where he was sentenced exploiting a prostitute, a third-degree felony, along with a misdemeanor sexual battery charge. The second-degree felony charge of forcible sex abuse and misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute were dismissed.

The case stems from a sting operation conducted by the Special Victim’s unit with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 14. Moss, using the screen name of “Pilot,” answered an ad placed by undercover detectives on social media where he initially requested the services of a prostitute.

During Tuesday’s hearing, both sides presented arguments relating to errors found in the pre-sentence report, which recommended the defendant be placed on probation in lieu of a prison or jail term.

After hearing both sides, District Judge Roger W. Griffin’s ruling was an “upward departure” of the sentence recommended in the pre-sentence report.

Moss was ordered to serve 53 days of house arrest with a GPS tracking device that would be monitored by Adult Probation and Parole and that would begin Wednesday, followed by a 90-day jail term that would begin at the completion of the house arrest in December.

He was also placed on 36 months of probation to be monitored by Adult Probation and Parole. The prison sentence of up to five years and all fines were suspended on both charges.

Authorities say during the sting operation Moss arrived at a hotel for an arranged meeting and allegedly exposed himself to the two undercover officers and grabbed the hand of one of the detectives and forced her to touch his genitals.

After the meeting, Moss exited the room and was met in the hallway by detectives and was advised charges would likely follow. He was later interviewed at his home in Lehi on Feb. 19 before being arrested and booked into the Utah County Jail. He was released the following day after posting $10,260 bail.

Moss previously served for more than 15 years in various St. George Police Department units, including gang and vice squads. In 2012, he was forced to resign after allegations of sexual misconduct came to light.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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