New York Daily News
A Queens church deacon, snared in an undercover sting, has been indicted for trying to lure a 14-year-old boy into having oral sex via an online hookup site, prosecutors said.
Rogelio Vega, 50, a deacon at St. Sebastian Church in Woodside, allegedly used the app Grindr to arrange a meeting with someone he thought was a young teenager but was in fact an undercover detective.
The Maspeth man allegedly began using Grindr in July to trade messages with his target. The undercover portrayed himself as a teen boy.
They exchanged sexually explicit messages for months, prosecutors said, with Vega asking for nude pictures. Vega also sent the “boy” pictures of his genitals and pressed for a meeting with him.
Finally, on Jan. 19, Vega drove to a pre-arranged spot in Queens to allegedly have oral sex. He flashed his headlights and the undercover got in the car. Vega was placed under arrest after asking about sex acts, prosecutors said.
“This defendant by all outward appearances is a church-going family man,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “Sadly, the real person under the sheep’s clothing is an alleged sexual predator who sought out a teenage boy to fulfill his needs.”
Vega was charged with attempted use of a child in a sexual performance and other crimes. He was arraigned Wednesday night and released pending his next court date. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
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