Priest Charged in Rest Stop Sex Sting Pleads Not Guilty

By Brian Howard
Journal News
November 9, 2007

The Catholic priest charged along with 20 other men in a rest-stop sex sting off Interstate 684 pleaded not guilty yesterday and is due back in Bedford Town Court next month.

The Rev. Gary Meade, wearing a gray suit and accompanied by his attorney, kept his head down and made no comment during the brief court appearance.

Judge Charles Banks had threatened to issue a bench warrant after Mead failed to appear last week. Others charged in the sting entered guilty pleas at that time.

Attorney Andrew Quinn of White Plains last night maintained Mead's innocence. He said he would review the specific allegations filed against Mead, who is due in court Dec. 13.

The Catholic priest from Millwood, who is assigned to St. Gregory Barbarigo parish in Garnerville, was charged with one violation count of loitering and with forcible touching, a misdemeanor.

Police say Mead, 44, tried to touch an undercover officer during the sting operation in the woods behind the rest stop.

Mead has denied being in the woods. He says he stopped at the service area on his way home from visiting friends in the town of Kent.

The sting, which also netted a local Rotary Club president and a 72-year-old man, was prompted by a complaint from a man who had stopped to use the rest area with his 10-year-old son, police said.

Most of the men were charged with loitering or trespass violations. One was charged with forcible touching, a misdemeanor. Four were charged with exposing themselves and two with public lewdness, all violations.

Reach Brian Howard at or 914-666-6177.


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