Disgraced Ex-bronx Priest Cleared of Charges of Using $1m in Church Funds for S&m Sex
By Laura Dimon
New York Daily News
October 30, 2017
|Peter Miqueli, 54, a former priest accused of swindling $1 million from two churches to pay a boytoy for S&M sex, has been cleared of charges. (MICHAEL SCOTT BERMAN/BERMAN, MICHAEL SCOTT, FREELANCE)|
An investigation into a former priest who was accused of taking $1 million from a city church found no evidence to back up the allegation, the Bronx District Attorney said Monday.
Peter Miqueli, 54, was at the center of a scandalous civil lawsuit parishioners filed in 2015. They alleged the priest, who worked at St. Frances de Chantal Church in the Bronx and St. Francis Cabrini on Manhattan’s Roosevelt Island, used the cash to pay a hunky boytoy for S&M sex.
The Bronx DA did not investigate the salacious sex claims, but the Archdiocese did, a Church official said, and found “nothing has been brought forward to substantiate them.”
Bronx DA Darcel Clark launched an investigation into the parishioners’ allegations of financial misconduct and concluded they were unsubstantiated. As part of her probe, Clark looked at the civil case.
Miqueli was never criminally charged.
Clark did find, however, that St. Frances de Chantal Church improperly doled out more than $22,000 in reimbursements to Miqueli from parish accounts. The ex-priest was ordered to return the funds, Clark said.
“This investigation by the Economic Crimes Bureau found that Father Miqueli was improperly reimbursed for personal expenses,” Clark said. “The Archdiocese has reimbursed St. Frances de Chantal Church for the funds, $22,450 of hard-earned money donated by parishioners for the betterment of the parish. We have made recommendations to the Archdiocese and they have agreed to more oversight.”
In a letter that was disseminated to parishioners, the Most Rev. Gerald Walsh, vicar for clergy, said that, while $22,000 is a “significant sum,” it is a “far cry” from the $1 million Miqueli was accused of looting.
“The Archdiocese has attempted to investigate the other, more sensational, accusations of morally abhorrent behavior, but, to, date, nothing has been brought forward to substantiate them, and Father Miqueli continues to deny them.”
He added that Miqueli has not had an assignment since December 2015 and that “it is difficult to envision a circumstance that would allow him to return to active priesthood.”
Miqueli could not be reached for comment.