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Catholic priest arrested for allegedly using church donations on Grindr dates
A Catholic priest has been arrested for allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from parishioners' donations and using the money on personal travel and gifts for men he met on a gay dating app.
Father Joseph McLoone, 56, was arrested for the theft of over $100,000 from members of the St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Downingtown, Pa., between 2011 and 2018, according to a statement from the district attorney's office.
Prosecutors allege that McLoone pocketed almost all of the yearly donations received by the church for personal use and also doubled the stipend he received from the church for performing marriages and other ceremonies.
"The defendant took full advantage of the lack of control over the activity account and used it to fund his personal lifestyle. His lifestyle included a beach house, travel, dining, and spending on adult men with whom he maintained sexual relationships," the district attorney wrote.
McLoone was arrested Wednesday, according to the statement, and charged with felony theft and other crimes. His bail was reportedly set at $50,000.
An attorney representing McCloone told NBC News in an interview that the evidence against her client was circumstantial and called the allegations "absurd."
"This DA's office is notorious for filing charges on suspicions and conjecture," Melissa McCafferty told NBC. "These accusations came about from a private letter sent to his employer, not from anything criminally substantial."