Paige Blakely, a 68 year old retired Catholic priest of The Diocese of Orlando, has been arrested for engaging in public sex acts at Sleepy Hollow Park in New Smyrna Beach. Blakely is one of eight men arrested as part of a sting operation by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office after numerous public complaints about men engaging in various sex acts at two public parks.
This is not Paige Blakely’s first arrest on sex-related charges. In 2011, the former Pastor at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in DeBary — who was at the time still working for the Diocese of Orlando in its Tribunal — was among six men charged in a sex sting in a restroom at Ross Point Park in Holly. Blakely had 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. In response to the 2011 arrest for indecent exposure, the Bishop of the Diocese of Orlando barred Blakely from functioning as a priest, pending the legal outcome of the criminal case against him. His faculties to serve a priest were later permanently removed by the Bishop. Paige Blakely had also previously served at Catholic Church of the Epiphany in Port Orange.
According to the incident report for the more recent arrest, Blakely approached an undercover deputy in the afternoon at Sleepy Hollow Park, walked down the trail with him and pulled down his pants exposing himself. That’s when the deputy arrested him, according to the report. The deputy said Blakely was searched and a condom was discovered inside one of his pants pockets.
Attorney Adam Horowitz has served as a sexual abuse attorney for children and adults who were victims of sexual misconduct by priests of the Diocese of Orlando. If you or someone you know was a victim of sexual abuse or sexual assault at any church or other religious organization, please contact our law firm at (954) 641-2100 or send an email to sexual abuse attorney Adam Horowitz at [email protected]