Longtime Santa in southern Missouri accused of raping child

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -- The Cape Girardeau County Sheriff is calling one suspect recently arrested the "Pervert Santa." Jeffrey Moffatt, 55, played Santa on the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway Santa Express. He's charged with first degree statutory rape for having sex with a person under the age of 14.

According to the probable cause statement, Moffat is accused of touching a 6-year-old girl inappropriately on more than one occasion. During a  medical interview and examination, the child reportedly said that Moffat had sexual intercourse with her. According to the probable cause, Moffat denied touching the child in a sexual manner, but said at the conclusion of the interview that "Children don't lie". Many who know him, including his girlfriend and some with whom he volunteers have voiced their support of him and conclude it is not something he would do.

Moffat is due in court on August 18. According to local law enforcement, Moffat has played the role of Santa in the Jackson area for nearly two decades.