Priest with HIV pleads guilty to soliciting sex

AP News
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Posted: Sep 05, 2014 4:04 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — An HIV-positive priest has pleaded guilty to soliciting sex from a Cleveland-area park ranger.

The 69-year-old Rev. James McGonegal (muh-GAHN'-ee-gul) was arrested nearly a year ago after he solicited a park ranger near downtown Cleveland. He was charged with felony soliciting because he had previously tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

In a plea agreement entered Friday, McGonegal pleaded guilty to the felony count of solicitation and to misdemeanor counts of abusing harmful intoxicants and public indecency. Under the agreement, he will enter a yearlong early intervention program. If he completes the program, he will not be convicted.

McGonegal also is required to serve 50 hours of community service and stay out of all Cleveland Metroparks.

A message left for his attorney hasn't been returned.