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Forest Hills Man Repeatedly Trafficked 13-Year-Old Boy to Queens For Sex After They Met Online: Feds

Manuel Moretti, pictured, was arrested for repeatedly trafficking a boy to Queens and sexually assaulting him after they met online (Photo via FBI)

Jan. 18, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

A Forest Hills man has been arrested for repeatedly trafficking a 13-year-old boy to Queens and sexually assaulting him after they met online.

Manuel Moretti, 39, was indicted in Brooklyn federal court Thursday on sex-trafficking charges after he allegedly lured the boy across state lines to his apartment on at least four occasions early last year for sex, according to the criminal complaint.

Moretti, an IT professional who works from home, is also accused of giving the boy a fake adult ID and continuing to contact him for sex after the defendant was interviewed by the FBI in December, prosecutors said.

Following the FBI interview, Moretti also allegedly told the victim to use a blocked telephone number to communicate with him in an apparent attempt to dodge law enforcement, prosecutors said.

“These allegations serve as a reminder of the dangers to our children from online predators and the importance of being aware of whom our children are communicating with online,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said.

“Our office is deeply committed to protecting vulnerable victims from sexual exploitation and will vigorously prosecute offenders like Moretti, who allegedly prey on children.”

Moretti met the boy on a social networking site in January 2021 and then arranged for the victim to travel to his Forest Hills apartment for sex on four separate occasions between January 2021 and April 2021, prosecutors said.

During the FBI interview in December, Moretti admitted to meeting the boy and engaging in sexual acts with him, prosecutors said.

Moretti described the boy as “young-looking” to the FBI but denied knowing the victim was 13-years-old, prosecutors said.

The defendant said he knew the victim was attending school and lived at home with his parents. Moretti also said he gave the boy an adult state identification document so that the victim could gain entry to his apartment.

Knowing the boy was 13, Moretti contacted the boy via Snapchat last month following the FBI interview in order to arrange another meet-up with him, prosecutors said

He was charged under the Mann Act with four counts of transportation of a minor and two counts of attempted interstate coercion and enticement of a minor.

He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison if convicted.

Moretti was denied bail, deemed a danger to the community and a flight risk. Prosecutors also argued he may try to contact the victim again.

The FBI asked for the public’s assistance in identifying other possible sex crimes carried out by Moretti.

“Moretti may have victimized others and we’re asking anyone with information to call us at 1-800-CALL-FBI,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael Driscoll said.

The FBI also appealed to parents to speak to their children about staying safe online, following Moretti’s arraignment.

“Cyberspace may not seem real to some children, or even parents, but it poses a real danger as we allege in this investigation,” Driscoll said.

“Unfortunately, we can’t stop these crimes from happening because the internet allows sexual predators direct access to victims.”

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14 Comments

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Bren: This is what happens when parents have no idea what their kids are up to.

nor care. btu srsly, the boy might be mentally challenged as he thought this was normal and okay… in school we also have to teach about cyber security and safety. Did he Remember those lessons?

My 7 and 6 year old nieces who live in a mid eastern state have more street smarts than this kid.

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can read

He’s not an “IT Professional who works from home” he’s a payroll administrator for an NGO that works with children with mental health issues

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I am the Real Alvin Bragg

This is a terrible, terrible crime. I hope the perp does not get his Mets tickets as we know that liberal love to coddle criminals.

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Gardens Watcher

This is the FBI’s case. They are NON-partisan and they WILL vigorously prosecute.

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Does anyone even get the "Mets tickets" thing?

It’s a new year, can you copy and paste a different rant than you have been for the last decade please?

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Trump pardoned 73 criminals on his last day

Most of his cabinet is serving fed time. They were liberals?!

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derangement syndrome

So degenerate lowlife molests 13 year old boy and then naturally “Trump”…wow

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Barry McKokinner

Obama broke a record his last day in office 330… more pardons than the previous 13 presidents before him combined

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getthemoffthestreet

Minimum sentence should be castration for starters. There is a special place in hell for this one.

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Johnny Cakes

Hopefully he gets “trafficked” in prison.

Also, where are the 13yr olds parents? Your child is traveling to another state and you have no clue! Shame on you

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Bench warmer

Yes, so very sad, these monsters prey on these children who are already being neglected at home , they know how to find these children
Special place in jail and Hell for this sick lowlife

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Brenda from the block

Parents of the 13 year old Hello??? They are also responsible.

The boy 13 . Kept going back , it’s the parents responsibility

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