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, launched in 2008, as Florida's first around-the-clock online newspaper. Frederick is among Florida's most experienced reporters specializing in breaking news & investigative reporting and winner of multiple state, regional & national journalism awards in Florida, New York, Massachusetts & Connecticut. The first of his three books, "Creepy Ass Cracker" (842 pages, Xlibris), hits bookstores this Fall. 
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