Former New York pastor sentenced for sexual abuse of St. Louis girl, 15

KMOV4 [St. Louis, MO]

September 29, 2022

By KMOV Staff

A former youth pastor from New York was sentenced to 13 years and four months in prison.

Jesse Vargas, 38, originally met the girl when she was 11 years old at a religious camp in Michigan. Vargas kept in touch with the family for the next four years and came to her St. Louis home in January 2013, preached at her church and then sexually assaulted her. He returned in March of that year and assaulted her again. He arranged for her to go to New York in June and abused her again.

Vargas pleaded guilty to two felony counts of travel with the intent to engage in illicit sexual contact and coercion and enticement of a minor.