According to the arrest report, Reverend James McGonegal was in his Jeep at Edgewater Park when he struck up a conversation with a park ranger dressed in plain clothes. McGonegal told the ranger he was “cruisin” and would pay him $50 to help him “get off.” During this conversation, McGonegal was rubbing his dick through his pants.
This alone was enough for the ranger to charge McGonegal with soliciting sex after testing positive for HIV, which is a felony. But this ranger went the extra mile and got a public indecency charge after he asked the priest to show him his dick, and the priest obliged.
That’s when the ranger identified himself and arrested McGonegal. Later, while in the back seat of a patrol car, McGonegal informed the ranger that he was HIV positive.
A search of the priest’s Jeep yielded at least three sex devices, including a cock-ring wrapped around a bottle of Isobutyl Nitrate, an inhalant commonly used to intensify orgasms. The bottle was labeled ”Pig Sweat” and had an awesome illustration of ”a pig-man wearing buttocks-free chaps.”
McGonegal has been a priest since 1971 and the pastor at St. Ignatius of Antioch Church since the mid-1980s. Parishioners have declined to comment on the incident, but the Cleveland Catholic Diocese did. On Monday he stated that McGonegal’s status is under review.
“McGonegal has stepped away from his duties at St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish to attend to his personal matters,” the diocese said in a statement. “Fr. Gary Yanus, priest in residence at St. Ignatius of Antioch Parish will temporarily attend to the sacramental needs of the parish community.”
McGonegal was taken to the Cleveland City Jail, but was released Saturday after posting bond. He was in court this morning for his hearing, and did not enter a plea. His case was sent to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, where it will be taken to a grand jury.Tags: Catholic, church, Crime, James McGonegal, Ohio, priest, Solicitation