UTAH COUNTY, Utah, Aug. 12, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A volunteer band teacher from Lindon was arrested after allegedly offering to pay a student for nude pictures.
Luis Mendez-Gamino, 23, is charged in the 4th District Court with 14 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, a second-degree felony and six counts of criminal solicitation, a class A misdemeanor.
Mendez-Gamino was a volunteer with the Pleasant Grove High School band. Alpine School District said Monday afternoon he was never employed by the district.
On July 20, Pleasant Grove Police Department was assigned a case in which Mendez-Gamino had allegedly solicited nude photographs from a 17-year-old girl, said a probable cause statement from Utah County.
“It was reported that Mendez-Gamino offered to pay the 17-year-old female $20 to $25 per nude photograph as he has in the past with other girls and said that he would potentially pay her $400 or more,” the statement said. “This solicitation occurred via Instagram between Mendez-Gamino’s account and the 17-year-old female’s account.”
The victim captured screen shots of the conversation and provided them to police, the statement said.
“In said conversation Mendez-Gamino refers to himself as a ‘Sugar Daddy’ and then tells the 17-year-old female that he had previously paid another girl more than $400 for nude pictures,” the statement said. “Mendez-Gamino later tells the 17-year-old female to tell him if she knows anyone who would sell him nude photographs of themselves after she refused to send him nude photographs of herself. He also tells the 17-year-old female to keep the conversation a secret.”
Pleasant Grove Police detectives made contact with Mendez-Gamino on Wednesday and he agreed to be transported to the Pleasant Grove Police Department for questioning. He was read his Miranda rights and agreed to be interviewed. During the interview Mendez-Gamino “admitted to offering the 17-year-old victim money in exchange for nude photographs,” the statement said. “He also confessed to being in possession of nude photographs and videos of over five other females that are 17 years old or younger.”
Mendez-Gamino told officials where and how to view the nude photographs and videos of the minors stored in various places on his cell phone. Officials estimated there are approximately more than 100 images and/or videos containing child pornography on the phone.
The suspect was transported to Utah County Jail, where he is being held without bail.