Oregon Priest Pleads Guilty of Attempting to Lure Girl, 14
May 11, 2016
An Oregon priest faces as much as a year behind bars when he is sentenced this month for attempting to lure a 14-year-old girl into his car in Vancouver.
Michael T. Patrick, 59, the former pastor of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Scappoose, entered a guilty plea Friday in Clark County Superior Court, according to The Columbian. He was originally charged with luring in the 2014 incident.
Patrick has been with the Archdiocese of Portland since 1998, according to The Catholic Sentinel. David Renshaw, a spokesman for the archdiocese, told The Columbian that Patrick has not been attached to a parish since his arrest and that his status remains unchanged pending the outcome of the archdiocese's investigation.
On March 10, 2014, a girl walking home on Northeast 28th Street noticed the driver of a silver or blue car looking at her "strangely," according to The Oregonian/OregonLive archives. The car turned around and came up behind her before driving past and parking in the bike lane. As the girl approached the car, the driver later identified as Patrick opened his door and said, "Hey, get in."
The girl refused and continued walking, picking up her pace. The driver pulled up alongside her, "asking her several times if she wanted a ride," court records show. She declined each time.
Then, the girl told police, the man said, "Come on, cutie." Alarmed, she ran to a nearby in-home daycare center to call her mother. She waited until the car pulled away before running home. Her mother notified police.
The girl gave police a detailed description of the man, as well as the car's license plate number. A short time later, police took the girl to Patrick's house to see if she could identify him. When asked if, on a scale of 1 to 10, he was the man who approached her, she said, "Eleven."
On March 25, 2014, officers attempted to execute a warrant at Patrick's house but were told by a neighbor that he had gone to Australia to visit his sister. He was arrested the following week at Los Angeles International Airport when he re-entered the country and then extradited to Clark County.
Patrick faces as much as a year in jail and two years' probation when he is sentenced May 23. Prosecutors will recommend a six-month term and a year's probation, court records show.