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Youth pastor arrested for sexual assault of children here and elsewhere

Youth pastor arrested for sexual assault of children here and elsewhere

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HAZELWOOD A New York man wanted by police for sexual assault involving a child in Hazelwood has been arrested in New York on a similar charge.

Jesse Vargas, 37, is a youth pastor who met his alleged New York victim at a Christian retreat, according to stories reported in the New York media.

While investigating the case here, Hazelwood police learned about the New York investigation and coordinated their efforts with the Nassau County Special Victims Squad and the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Division.

Vargas has been charged in Nassau County, New York, with crimes including sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. Hazelwood police expect him to be extradited to Missouri, where he faces charges in St. Louis County on five counts of statutory sodomy involving a different victim in 2013.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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