Holly Hill cops: New Smyrna Beach man, who was a priest, arrested in gay sex sting

Accused was a former pastor at St. Ann's R.C. Church in DeBary

Paige Blakely

Paige Blakely Courtesy photos / Paige A. Blakely, 61, shown in handcuffs in the larger photo by Holly Hill police, and in an earlier photo when he was a Catholic priest at St. Ann's Church in DeBary, was among half a dozen men charged in a gay sex sting Thursday in a park restroom.

HOLLY HILL -- A 61-year-old former pastor and retired Catholic priest who lives in New Smyrna Beach, is among a group of men rounded up in a sting alleging gay sex in a restroom at Ross Point Park in Holly, police said.

Blakely, a former pastor at St. Ann's Catholic Church in DeBary, exposed himself to an undercover cop and allegedly told him he was "trying to experience what it was like," and that was trying to get a "thrill" at the same time, police said. He also made a reference to "cruising," a term men use when looking for gay sex, according to his charging affidavit.

Blakely, a former pastor at St. Ann's Catholic Church in DeBary, exposed himself to an undercover cop and allegedly told him he was "trying to experience what it was like," and that was trying to get a "thrill" at the same time, police said. He also made a reference to "cruising," a term men use when looking for gay sex, according to his charging affidavit.

Blakely was issued a summons charging him with exposure of sexual organs. However, Blakely was subsequently released from police custody without transport to the Volusia County Branch Jail where he would have had to post bail. He and the other five men were issued trespass warnings not to return to the park. NSBNews.net has been unable to reach him for comment.

The Diocese of Orlando released a statement stating Blakely had contacted Bishop John Noonan and informed him that he had "received a summons from the Holly Hill Police Department for a misdemeanor allegation regarding indecent exposure." The diocese said the bishop barred Blakely from acting o functioning as a priest, pending the legal outcome of the criminal case against him.

The other five men arrested in the Holly Hill sting include:

David Louis Mecco, 80, of Daytona Beach, exposure of sexual organs;

Bernard Henry Cowart, 52, of Holly Hill, exposure of sexual organs and resisting arrest without violence;

Terry Allen Stamps, 50, of Daytona Beach, unnatural and lascivious acts;

Eric Dreisbach, 50, of Ormond Beach, unnatural and lascivious acts;

Don Allen Cupit, 50, listed as homeless, unnatural and lascivious acts.

NSBNews.net, also known as VolusiaNews.net, provides Volusia County 24 / 7 Internet newspaper coverage, 100% free with breaking news, news of record and investigative reports from New Smyrna Beach, FL, for a 21st-century digital world.

Jim Hathaway

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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