An assistant band teacher at Pleasant Grove High School has been charged with sexual exploitation after reportedly paying teenage girls — including at least one student — for nude pictures of themselves.
Luis Mendez-Gamino, 23, of Lindon, was charged in 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. He was booked into the Utah County jail, where he is being held without bail.
According to Pleasant Grove police, Mendez-Gamino sent the 17-year-old student an Instagram message offering her $20 to $25 for each nude photo of herself she sent him, adding that he would pay her a total of $400 or more. He also told her he had paid other girls for nude photos, and “asked her to keep the conversation secret,” according to a probable cause statement.
Police said that when he was contacted on Aug. 7, Mendez-Gamino “admitted he had solicited nude photos from the girl for money,” and said he had similar photos of “at least five other girls, who detectives confirmed were 17 years old or younger.” Police said Mendez-Gamino consented to having his phone searched, and “detectives located over 100 images and/or videos of child pornography.”
He was booked into the Utah County jail, where he is being held without bail.