American Fork man charged with attacking teen boy with meat tenderizer

An American Fork man already awaiting sentencing for a conviction of drug distribution is now facing additional charges tied to an assault of a 14-year-old boy.

An American Fork man already awaiting sentencing for a conviction of drug distribution is now facing additional charges tied to an assault of a 14-year-old boy. (Chinnapong, Shutterstock)

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AMERICAN FORK — An American Fork man already awaiting sentencing on a drug distribution conviction has now been charged with assaulting a 14-year-old boy with a meat tenderizer and abandoning the boy without shoes near a park.

Horacio Moya, 21, was charged Monday in 4th District Court with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a class B misdemeanor.

On Jan. 5, a 14-year-old boy was in a car with a 14-year-old girl who drove to Art Dye Park, 1000 N. 550 East in American Fork. Police said the boy was "unaware of what was about to happen."

The girl parked next to a car with two men inside. One of them was Moya, who police say is the 14-year-old girl's boyfriend. Moya got out of his car, went to the girl's car and began assaulting the 14-year-old boy in the back seat, according to charging documents.

The boy later told police that "he was assaulted by being punched and kicked repeatedly. Moya hit him with a hard object that appeared to the victim to be a meat tenderizer. The force from the hits caused the lacerations to the back of his head," the charges state.

Police say the boy suffered two deep lacerations to the back of his head. Moya then took the boy's shoes and cellphone and drove off, the charges state. The boy wandered through a nearby neighborhood where a resident saw him and gave him a pair of socks and called police, according to a police booking affidavit.

Meanwhile, Moya's car was pulled over while leaving the park. Police documented their stop and took a picture of Moya, but he was released at that time.

Initially, the boy told police he did not know who assaulted him. Five weeks later, however, "he informed his mother that he wanted to tell the police what had happened … and he told the officer he did not tell the police the truth on the night of the assault because he was afraid for his safety," according to the charges.

The boy then told police what happened and said the man who assaulted him is known by the street name of "Maldito." "The victim's mother said that this loosely translates to 'worst person,'" according to the affidavit.

Police say they are familiar with Moya because he "has had 22 adult criminal incidents. Fifteen of those incidents have convictions with six of them being felonies," the affidavit states,

Police say Moya was on pretrial release at the time of the alleged assault. He was convicted on several counts of drug distribution with intent to distribute on Feb. 13 and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 27.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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