The executive director of the Rainbow Resource Center, a prominent LGBTQ+ support center based in Modesto, has been identified as one of 17 men apprehended on suspicion of attempting to engage in sexual activities with a minor.
The revelation was first reported by the Modesto Bee.
Gerad Slayton, 42, was taken into custody during a sting operation organized by the Turlock Police Department, targeting individuals believed to be seeking illicit encounters with minors. Slayton, recently appointed as the executive director of the Rainbow Center, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing resources for LGBTQ+ individuals across all age groups, faces allegations of pursuing sexual activities with minors.
The Rainbow Center addressed the situation through a Facebook statement, asserting that Slayton's alleged actions occurred outside of working hours and were not associated with the organization's premises. Court records indicate that Slayton has no prior felony charges in Stanislaus County.
The statement reads, in part:
“We want to assure our community that we take these allegations with the utmost seriousness. Mr. Slayton's actions do not represent our organization’s values or mission. In accordance with our unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of conduct and integrity, we are addressing the issue within the rainbow resource center.
“We acknowledge the impact that the situation may have had on the community. We understand that trust is earned through consistent and accountable actions. We are dedicated to rebuilding any trust that may have been affected by the situation. As an organization that is at the forefront of advocacy and support for the LGBTQ+ community, our actions must reflect our dedication to these principles.”
“He was new in that position and was working mostly with kind of staff roles,” Rainbow Resource Center's interim executive director Alex Gutierrez said of Slayton when queried by the Modesto Bee. “So I can’t say that he didn’t have, you know, any contact with people, with peers in general, you know, not to say zero contact, but we have definitely other layers of [contact] when you first come in, you don’t obviously meet the executive director.”
Slayton's LinkedIn profile includes He/Him pronouns.
Slayton's social media featured LGBTQ slogans and rainbow imagery.
Posting under the name Gerad Leal Amore, Slayton posted in support of PResident Joe Biden.
The operation, planned over several months and orchestrated by Turlock police Detective Gina Giovacchini, involved multiple agencies. Undercover officers, posing as individuals between the ages of 13 and 17, received responses across all age groups, according to Giovacchini. Employing various messaging and dating apps, the operation aimed to lure suspects to a designated location. Giovacchini explained that an officer, assuming the role of a minor, would engage with the suspect and secure an agreement to meet in person with the intent of engaging in sexual activities.
Turlock Police Chief Hedden said, in a press release posted to Facebook, “This operation was the culmination of months of planning by the Turlock Police Department and cooperating agencies. I am proud of Detective Gina Giovacchini and our team for their efforts to intercept those looking to harm children in our community.”
Slayton entered a plea of not guilty to the felony charge of meeting with a minor with the intention of engaging in lewd and lascivious behavior.
His upcoming court appearance is slated for January 29 at the Stanislaus County Superior Courthouse.
Andy Ngo contrinuted to this report.
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