State Attorney: No proof of deception by Catholic priest


[with video]

Updated: Oct 31, 2016

By Jaclyn Bevis, Reporter

The State Attorney’s Office said there’s no proof of deception or intimidation in an investigation into a Catholic priest who may have swindled an elderly parishioner.

The Diocese of Venice announced Father Christopher Senk is on paid leave. Senk’s attorney said he doesn’t understand the timing of the decision by the diocese or the release of information to the media.

Senk was accused of exploiting an elderly woman in the church. The Diocese reported an investigation that started in January 2015 conducted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

The State Attorney’s Office said they determined no criminal charges were appropriate, saying the parishioner willingly gave money and was not deceived by Father Senk.

The church denied a request for comment. The Diocese of Venice refused to answer further questions about the investigation or Senk’s current status.

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