by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

Sheriff deputies in Hillsborough County, Florida, arrested a youth pastor and a foster parent this week for sexually trafficking children.

Nathaniel Rodriguez and Nicole Rogers reported the story on WFLA in Tampa:

Hillsborough County deputies arrested a youth pastor and a foster parent on human trafficking charges involving teenage victims, according to a Friday press release.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said their investigation began on Feb. 9 after a local mother said she found “disturbing content” on her 16-year-old child’s cell phone.

Deputies said their suspect, 36-year-old Moises Escoto of Temple Terrace, had first contacted the victim two years ago on an app called Sniffies.

Escoto serves as a youth pastor at Iglesia de Cristo Misionera Mahanaim Church on North Amenia Avenue.

“It started with, hey I’ll give you gifts and money in exchange for sexual photos and videos,” said Marco Villarreal. “Over time, they started meeting and having secret sexual contact.”

According to deputies, the youth pastor also was meeting the teenager in secret and having sex with him.

He was arrested by human trafficking deputies on Feb. 9. (Full article.)

Florida’s Child Trafficking Problem

This recent arrest of child sex abusers highlights an ongoing problem in Florida with child trafficking.

We have previously reported how over 20 families are now suing Florida for kidnapping their children through the State’s Foster Care program, naming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and others as defendants.

Many families who have had their children taken away from them illegally by the State of Florida are fighting back and suing the State of Florida, naming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families Shevaun Harris, Executive Director of the Florida Department of Health Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Bureau Chief of the Florida Department of Health Child Protection Team Patricia Armstrong, and Executive Director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program Attorney Dennis Moore as defendants in the case. (Source.)

Here is the 8-minute video that WPTV produced about the alleged corruption happening in Florida where children are being kidnapped by the State of Florida:

Many of the children who are sexually trafficked in Florida come from the taxpayer funded Florida Foster Care system, primarily the privately owned and operated group homes.

An article published by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, titled “Innocence Sold: Florida’s foster system provides dangerous sex traffickers with easy access to vulnerable children,” reports on this.

Jayden Alexis Frisbee died last year at age 16. She had a passion for animals and music.

She left behind grieving sisters, a baby brother, her mother, and a grandmother who still can’t forgive herself for ever letting the Florida Department of Children and Families into Jayden’s life.

The state was in charge of Jayden through its privatized foster care system, and it made an inadequate, unstable parent. Jayden was shifted among 12 foster homes in a year and a half, and neighborhood sex traffickers caught up with her along the way.

She died on Jan. 11, 2021, in the bathroom of a Jacksonville Studio 6 motel.

A yearlong investigation by the South Florida Sun Sentinel exposed the complicity of Florida’s child welfare system in underage sex trafficking, through evidence found in government records, state and federal lawsuits, research studies, and interviews with victims and family members.

The Sun Sentinel found:

  • When Florida’s child welfare system takes in a girl, the odds she will be trafficked for sex increase.
  • Florida exploited a loophole so it could keep sending vulnerable girls to group homes, despite a federal law that discourages their use. Teen girls at those homes have been preyed on by traffickers who sometimes “shark” the block, waiting for a girl to walk to the corner store.
  • Young people with a history of commercial sexual exploitation run away from group homes at an alarming rate, and those runaways are even more susceptible to sex trafficking. Yet, once they’re gone, no one tries very hard to find them, and nothing in Florida law requires them to.

Jayden’s mother, Chrissy Frisbee Morales, told the Sun Sentinel she doesn’t believe her daughter would have been trafficked had she not been placed in the foster system.

“None of, like, the drugs and the sex trafficking, none of that happened until they put her in the first foster home,” Frisbee Morales said.

The complicity of the state

Documents show that the state has been aware for years that girls in group foster homes are specifically targeted by sex traffickers.

In September of 2022, 29% of the teenagers in Florida foster care were in group homes, according to DCF reports. The numbers were even higher in ChildNet’s territory of Broward and Palm Beach counties — 36%. In neighboring Miami-Dade County, 19% of teens were in group homes. In Embrace Families CBC territory of Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties, it was 31%.

Broward County Public Defender Gordon Weekes reported what he considered “unsafe” and “abusive” conditions in a bluntly worded 2014 letter to DCF after he visited several group homes in Broward County.

His letter to the head of DCF alleged that child-welfare workers knew girls in the group homes were targeted by sex traffickers, “yet little has [been] done to address the traffic recruiter that prowls the area seeking out vulnerable girls in foster care as prey.”

“Knowingly placing highly vulnerable foster care girls in such an environment without protection is tantamount to state-sponsored human trafficking, and it must be stopped,” Weekes wrote. (Full article.)

Religious leaders, such as Priests and Pastors, are also frequently involved in child sex trafficking.

A six month investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News back in 2015 found widespread child sex abuse by over 220 Southern Baptist leaders against more than 700 victims since 1998, and that included Florida.

Pastor Darrell Gilyard, who originally pastored in Texas and was allegedly a protégé of Paige Patterson, the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention who was ousted as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth after he said he wanted to meet alone with a female student who said she was raped so he could “break her down,” was also reportedly sexually abusing people in his church in Texas back in the 1980s and 1990s.

After Gilyard was removed from his church in Texas, he moved to Florida where he was arrested for molesting teenage girls.

Gilyard was convicted in 2009 of lewd and lascivious molestation of two other teenage girls, both under 16, while pastoring a Florida church. He found work at an SBC church after his three-year prison sentence, prompting the local Southern Baptist association to end its affiliation. (Source.)

This problem of child sex trafficking in Christian churches is much larger than most realize. Here are some previous articles we have published on this topic:

Southern Baptist Church: Leader in Foster Care and Adoption – Home to Pedophiles

The Catholic Church and Pedophilia: Trafficking Children as Sex Slaves

Pedophilia Crimes Against Children Inside and Outside the Church – Time to Acknowledge the Child Sex Trafficking Problem

Texas Baptist Home Failed to Protect Foster Kids from Sexual Abuse

Former County Administrator, CPS Board Member, and Pastor’s Wife Sentenced to Prison for Child Sex Trafficking Involvement

Pastor Convicted of Repeatedly Raping Adopted Daughter Gets Light Sentence Because of “Longtime Ministry”

I have been calling out Christians for years now to STOP participating in child trafficking by receiving funds from the government to foster and adopt children, which is where most of the nation’s children come from who are sexually trafficked.

But the desire to take someone else’s child is just too strong for most Christians.

Christian Churches Redefine the Meaning of “Orphan” to Justify Participating in Child Trafficking

As we have previously reported, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has no problem threatening families who do not agree with his views with having their children taken away from them by Florida’s Child “Protective” Services, weaponizing the State’s alleged authority to take children away from their parents for a wide variety of reasons that do not include physical abuse.

Last June, DeSantis criticized a “family friendly” drag show held at a gay bar in Dallas, Texas.

“That is totally inappropriate,” said DeSantis. “That is not something children should be exposed to.”

And while most parents in the U.S. would probably agree with the Governor on this issue, it is what he said next that should concern every parent in America who values parental rights.

When asked by reporters whether he would support proposed legislation from a Florida state representative that would punish parents who take their children to such performances, the governor said he has asked his staff to look into the idea.

“We have child protective statutes on the books,” the governor said. “We have laws against child endangerment.”

“It used to be kids would be off-limits. Used to be everybody agreed with that,” DeSantis continued. “Now it just seems like there’s a concerted effort to be exposing kids more and more to things that are not age appropriate.” (Source.)

Threatening parents who do not conform with a politician’s view about what constitutes being a good parent or not by having their children kidnapped by the State and put into the nation’s lucrative child trafficking network called “foster care” by government “child protection” agents, is something everybody should be againstregardless of your political views.

And while exposing children to sexual perversion is probably something that should be legislated against (but punish the parents, NOT the children by taking them away from their families!), what is worse, exposing a child to bad sexual morals, or trying to maim and kill them with a vaccine that the Governor’s own Surgeon General admits is dangerous to children and could kill them?

And yet, not only are such parents who try to harm their children with COVID bioweapon shots not being threatened by having their children taken away from them (which they should not!), there has been no action by the State of Florida to protect these children from their ignorant parents who foolishly follow the FDA and CDC advice on COVID vaccines and then end up with dead or permanently injured children.

Casey DeSantis, wife of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Image source.

In spite of the lawsuit against DeSantis and Ladapo in Florida for child trafficking, and the exposure by some in the Florida media of widespread corruption in the Florida child welfare system, Governor DeSantis’s wife is recruiting more investigators to go on the state payroll to look for more children to put into the system, and they are recruiting these investigators from military veterans and former law enforcement.

First Lady Casey DeSantis announced a new state initiative to recruit military veterans to work for the Florida Department of Children and Families.

DeSantis said the “Continue the Mission” initiative aims to recruit veterans to become Child Protective Investigators (CPIs) for DCF, saying it’s a good use of their skills and may help give them purpose after serving.

DeSantis said there is a lot of turnover in the position because of how difficult the job can be.

“So what we wanted to do is provide an opportunity for our veterans to continue their service and to continue to serve our great children of this state. And so we are asking them to do that to sign up as CPIs,” DeSantis said.

Florida is home to 1.5 million veterans.

The first lady also said the state was looking to give opportunities to military spouses and former law enforcement officers. (Source. Update here.)

Florida is a very dangerous place to raise children.

Related:

Florida Goes After Homeschoolers by Offering Money in Return for Government Oversight

Comment on this article at HealthImpactNews.com.

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