First, the backstory from our original write-up of May 18, 2012:
Arraigned: Luis Morales, a.k.a. “Apostle Tito”, 57, founder, pastor & “prophet,” evangelistic En Fuego for Jesus Ministry (also MySpace), Ormond Beach, Florida, on charges of “sexually molesting several children who are members of his religious organization,” per Click Orlando, which reports: “According to federal prosecutors, Morales repeatedly had sex with a 12-year-old Florida girl in his Ormond Beach home and while on a trip with her to Connecticut in 2009. The government also claims Morales molested a 13-year-old girl from Arizona whom he took to the U.S. Virigin Islands.” Morales’s wife, Linda Morales, a.k.a. “Prophet Linda,” who insists her husband is innocent, reportedly admonished the parents of the alleged victims in the courtroom, telling them to “get right with Jesus,” and later claimed: “Satan is the accuser of the brethren. So anybody that makes an accusation against a man or woman of God is on Satan’s team.”
Also arrested: Rebecca Rivera, charged with two counts of child sex trafficking, presumably related to the procurement of Morales’s alleged victims. Rivera’s MySpace page says: “I am Prophet Rebecca Rivera for En Fuego For Jesus Ministry. I am under the covering of the Apostle Tito and Prophet Linda Morales who through the Lord Jesus Christ are training me up to become a true prophet of God. I was born in Mexicali, Mexico and lived there all of my life until the Lord took me out in July of 2004. The experience was awesome and I give God all of the glory and honor and praise because he took me out of a place that I never thought I would ever leave. And because he did it for me, I want other people to know that what seems to be impossible, God can turn it around and do it for them as well. My desire for the future is that I will continue to travel all over the world preaching the gospel message of Jesus Christ. My heart is for the Lord and I am waiting on HIM to bless me mightily so that I can bless God’s people. I am looking forward to fulfilling my dream of recording many albums so that all may hear the good news of Jesus Christ and be blessed.” Story: Click Orlando, May 18, 2012; Daytona Beach News-Journal, May 18, 2012
Now, the good news from Jacksonville Division of the FBI:
ORLANDO, Fla., January 22, 2013 — U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. today sentenced Luis E. Morales (58, Ormond Beach) to life in federal prison for child sex trafficking and transporting children across state lines to engage in sexual activity. The court also ordered Morales to pay more than $35,000 in restitution to the victims of the offenses and to forfeit his interest in the property located at 8 Crossings Trail in Ormond Beach.
Judge Dalton also sentenced Morales’ co-defendant, Rebeca Rivera (28, Hartford, Connecticut) today. Rivera was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for her role in aiding and abetting the sex trafficking of a child and the transportation of a child across state lines to engage in sexual activity. As part of her sentence, Rivera was ordered to pay $31,030 in restitution to the victim of her offenses, to serve 10 years of supervised release, and to register as a sex offender.
Morales and Rivera were convicted on November 5, 2012.
According to evidence presented at trial, Morales was a self-proclaimed “apostle” in a ministry that he founded called En Fuego for Jesus. Rivera was one of his “prophets” in the ministry. In November 2009, Morales transported a 12-year-old ministry member from Florida to Connecticut, knowing that the minor would be caused to engage in a commercial sex act.
While in Connecticut, Rivera recruited, encouraged, and enticed the minor to engage in sex acts with Morales. Later in November 2009, Morales transported the minor from Connecticut to Florida with the intent to engage in sexual activity with the minor. In December 2010, Morales transported a 13-year-old member of the ministry from Arizona to Florida, and then to the Virgin Islands, with the intent to engage in sexual activity with that minor.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen L. Gable.
It is another case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “Resources.”
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