Florida preacher sexually assaulted kids for years on mission trips to Fiji, feds say

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A former Florida preacher was sentenced to 60 years in prison on federal child sex abuse charges from the time he spent in Fiji leading missionary trips, federal officials said.

In late 2022, multiple victims came forward and told federal officials Jason Robert Moore, 43, from Milton, Florida had sexually abused them, according to a Sept. 18 release from the Department of Justice.

The abuse took place in the Republic of Fiji, where Moore had led missionary trips over multiple years, according to a 2022 news release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the DOJ release.

Moore also led trips in Florida, various other locations in the U.S. and in Canada, according to the FDLE.

From March 2013 through February 2016, Moore “engaged in ‘illicit sexual conduct in foreign places’ ” with children while in Fiji, federal officials said.

“Individuals who masquerade under a disguise of public trust and prey on the vulnerability of children in their own home should expect to be held fully accountable for their actions,” Homeland Security Investigations Tallahassee Assistant Special Agent in Charge Nicholas Ingegno said in the DOJ release. “I commend the victim for having the courage to come forward.”

Officials did not release the relation of the children to Moore or whether they were U.S. or Fiji citizens.

Moore was arrested on the federal charges, as well as state charges of lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim under 12 from a 2006 case in Pensacola, in December 2022, according to a release from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

McClatchy News reached out to Lauren Cobb, the public defender representing Moore, for a comment and did not receive an immediate response.

Moore pled guilty to two federal counts in February, according to court documents.

On Sept. 17, Moore was sentenced to 60 years in prison, followed by lifetime supervised release, according to the DOJ release.

Moore will also be required to register as a sex offender and follow all conditions of the registry, federal officials said.

“As a former preacher, Moore had plenty of access to children in a role that placed him in a position of trust for parents and the community. Taking this dangerous predator off the streets was a priority for our agents,” FDLE Pensacola Special Agent in Charge Chris Williams said in the release.

Milton is about 19 miles northeast of Pensacola.

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