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LEHI — A Lehi man who once worked as a vice squad lieutenant, a bishop for his church, and in West Valley City government was formally charged Monday with trying pick up and "manage" prostitutes.
David Moss, 51, is charged in 4th District Court with forcible sex abuse, a second-degree felony; exploiting prostitution, a third-degree felony; patronizing a prostitute, a class A misdemeanor; and lewdness a class B misdemeanor.
The Utah County Sheriff's Office conducted a "human trafficking operation" in Lehi on Valentine's Day. After investigators posted a message on an undisclosed social media app, Moss responded to the message, according to police.
"(Moss) arranged to meet with the (undercover officer) and her friend and engage in sexual activity, for which he was willing to pay cash. At the same time, defendant was offering to be the (undercover officer's) manager for a cut of her profits," according to charging documents. "He explained to her that he'd provide protection, help ensure regular, higher-paying customers, and teach her how to avoid getting caught or arrested."
When Moss met with the undercover officers in a Lehi hotel room, he again "offered his managing services and demonstrated how to detect a cop" by taking the female officer's hand and placing it on his genitals over his clothing, the charges state.
Moss then "focused on engaging in sexual acts" with one of the women and "wanted to make sure the (woman) was not a cop," according to the charges, by exposing himself to the undercover officers.
The officers immediately ran to the bathroom and locked the door and Moss was arrested as he walked out of the room, according to a police affidavit.
Moss was with St. George police from 1997 to 2012, rising to the rank of lieutenant over the department's vice squad, but was forced to resign from the department for allegedly having sex while on duty, according to the department. He relinquished his police certification in 2013 to Peace Officer Standards and Training, which is the equivalent of having his certification revoked.
Moss was also a bishop in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the time of his arrest. A church spokesman said Moss was immediately removed from his church position once local leaders learned of the allegations.
"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," church spokesman Eric Hawkins said.
West Valley City also confirmed that Moss had resigned as deputy director of the Community Preservation Department two days after his arrest. He was also the director of the Animal Services Division for a year, from 2016 to 2017.
According to his LinkedIn page, Moss worked as a counselor in the state Division of Juvenile Justice from 2013 to 2015, where the profile says he worked as a counselor for youth entering the juvenile justice system. The page also said he was program manager/project director with the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health from 2015 to 2016. He also worked for a year as an adjunct professor at Provo College, the page states.
The Utah Department of Human Services confirmed Moss had been employed there but offered no additional comment.