A high-ranking Catholic priest has been busted paying a hooker for sex at a Massachusetts cemetery, police said.
Monsignor Arthur Coyle, who oversees several parishes in the state, faces a prostitution charge after cops allegedly caught him red-handed offering cash to a streetwalker in Lowell.
Officers reportedly spotted the 62-year-old clergyman driving a black Chevy Equinox — with known prostitute Siriwan Kongkaen, 38, in the passenger seat — just before 5 p.m. Sunday.
The vehicle parked behind the Holy Trinity Polish Cemetery. After five minutes, officers say they approached to find the woman allegedly performing oral sex on Coyle.
He was granted $500 bail and will return to court Sep. 16.
Police reports claim Coyle has been spotted “a dozen times” in the past circling the red light neighborhood.
The episcopal vicar for the Merrimack Region, who lives at the rectory of St. Rita’s, has since taken voluntary leave from the post he’s held since 2008.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston released a statement on the allegations.
“While on administrative leave, Msgr. Coyle is prohibited from performing any public ministry. These restrictions will remain in place pending the outcome of the case,” the diocese said.
“The steps taken today do not represent a determination of Msgr. Coyle’s guilt or innocence as it pertains to these charges,” it added.