Jeffrey Bates Moffat: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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A Missouri man who has played Santa Claus, Jeffrey Bates Moffat, has been accused of raping a 7-year-old girl. (Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Office)

A 55-year-old Missouri man who has played Santa Claus for more than 20 years has been arrested on charges that he raped a 7-year-old girl.

Jeffrey Bates Moffat was arrested in Cape Girardeau County, the Southeast Missourian reports.

Moffat has volunteered with the St. Louis Iron Mountain & Southern Railway and portrayed its Santa Claus on its popular Christmas train, the newspaper reported.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Police Called Him ‘Our Pervert Santa’

Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Captain David James called Moffat “our pervert Santa” in an email to the Washington Post.

“I would say his days are done as far as being a Santa anywhere around here,” James told the newspaper.


2. The Rapes Allegedly Occurred at Moffat’s Home

Police said the sexual assault occurred at Moffat’s home between August 2014 and January 2015.

According to the criminal complaint, he “knowingly had sexual intercourse” and “deviate sexual intercourse” with the girl, the Southeast Missourian reports.


3. Moffat Told Police ‘Children Don’t Lie,’ But Denied the Allegations

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Moffat on the Christmas train in 2014. (Friends of the St. Louis Iron Mountain Railway/Facebook)

The girl Moffat is accused of raping reported the alleged assault to her grandmother, and later provided details of it to an investigator.

“During the interview, Moffat denied touching [name redacted] in a sexual manner,” a probable cause statement obtained by the Washington Post says. “However, when asked why [name redacted] would make these allegations against him, Moffat responded, ‘I don’t think she would.’ Continuing, [name redacted] ‘did not intentionally make all this up.’”

Moffat concluded by saying “children don’t lie,” according to the Post.


4. His Girlfriend & the Railway’s President Are Standing by Him

“I’ve known Jeffrey for 25 years, and I just don’t believe that a person could snap and change overnight,” Cheryl Huffman, the president of the railway he volunteered as Santa for, told the Southeast Missourian. “He’s just such a giving, kind person.”

Huffman called Moffat a “Southern gentleman.”

Moffat’s longtime girlfriend, Patricia Lynch, also said she believes Moffat is innocent.

“Never in a million years who I have dreamt that, he is just not that way,” Lynch told KMOV. “He is just not guilty of this crime, I know that, I feel it in my heart.”


5. He Is Facing 2 Counts of Rape

Moffat was charged with first-degree statutory rape and first-degree statutory sodomy, according to the sheriffs office. He is being held on $50,000 bail.

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