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FLORIDA: Retired Catholic priest and former pastor arrested in bathroom sex sting

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Retired priest Paige A Blakely priest, arrested in gay sex stingA retired Catholic priest and former pastor at a DeBary church is one of six men who were arrested in a Holly Hill bathroom sex sting last week, authorities confirmed.

Paige Blakely, 61, was charged Nov. 17 with misdemeanor indecent exposure during an operation conducted by the Holly Hill Police Department at Ross Point Park, off Riverside Drive.

According to an arrest affidavit, Blakely arrived at the park and then went into the men's bathroom and was followed by an undercover police officer who pretended to wash his hands.

Blakely, who lives in New Smyrna Beach, first went to a urinal and then approached the officer and "glanced at my groin area a few times," the officer wrote in the affidavit.

Moments later Blakely pulled out his genitals and shook them at the officer, who then identified himself, according to the affidavit.

After being placed under arrest, Blakely told authorities he was only trying to "experience what it was like" and was trying to get a "thrill" and was familiar with "cruising" or searching for a sexual partner in a public place, authorities said.

Blakely was charged and released at the park.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal later received an anonymous tip that Blakely was a retired priest and had worked under the Diocese of Orlando.

When contacted Tuesday, the Catholic organization released this in an email statement:

"Father Paige Blakely, a retired priest of the Diocese of Orlando, notified Bishop John Noonan that he received a summons from the Holly Hill Police Department for a misdemeanor allegation regarding indecent exposure," wrote Carol Brinati, the organization's chancellor of administration.

"Bishop Noonan removed (Blakely's) faculties pending the outcome of the police investigation."

Brinati later wrote Blakely was a pastor at St. Ann's Catholic Church in DeBary and left in 2007 under good standing to take a position on the organization's tribunal, which traditionally handles church law.

He later retired as a priest in good standing, Brinati wrote.

A man who answered Blakely's phone number listed on the affidavit said it was a wrong number and hung up.