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Priest pleads not guilty to soliciting sex

Priest pleads not guilty to soliciting sex

(Cleveland) – A local priest is pleading not guilty to charges of soliciting sex.

68-year-old Father James McGonegal was briefly in court Tuesday. McGonegal was arrested last Friday at Edgewater Park after an off-duty park ranger says the priest offered him $50 for sex.

The judge continued the personal bond that was set over the weekend.

McGonegal has stepped down a priest from St. Ignatius of Antioch and has reportedly admitted he's HIV positive. He has been a priest since 1971.

The diocese released the following statement after McGonegal's arraignment:

“The status of Fr. James McGonegal is under review.  Fr McGonegal has stepped away from his duties at St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish to attend to his personal matters.  Fr. Gary Yanus, priest in residence at St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish will temporarily attend to the sacramental needs of the parish community.”

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