Ns News Online Desk: A church deacon was busted this week for trying to have sex with a 14-year-old boy he met on the gay hook-up site Grindr, officials said. It turns out that Rogelio Vega, 50, of Maspeth, Queens, was actually chatting up an undercover detective posing as a youngster, according to prosecutors.
“This defendant by all outward appearances is a church-going family man,” said Queens DA Melinda Katz. “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, a deacon with Saint Sebastian Roman Catholic Church in Wood side, allegedly began using the app Grindr in July 2020 to communicate with the undercover who he thought was an underage boy. The married father of four allegedly asked the “child” to send him nude pictures and shared several photos of his genitals with him.
On one occasion when Vega asked the “teen” to meet him in-person for oral sex, the detective posing as the boy said his mother wasn’t home and he could get in trouble if he went out.
Undeterred, Vega pushed the “child” for the get-together, and they agreed to meet at a pre-arranged location on Jan. 19 for oral sex. When Vega arrived, he allegedly flashed his headlights to identify himself — and the undercover climbed into the car and arrested him.
Vega was arraigned Wednesday on one count each of attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, attempted criminal sexual act, attempted disseminating indecent material to a minor and attempted endangering the welfare of a child for which he faces up to seven years in prison. He was released on a $50,000 bond, authorities said. Vega’s defense lawyer, Jameson Dunn, and Saint Sebastian Roman Catholic Church didn’t immediately return requests for comment.