Naked Jogging Priest Must Register As Sex Offender


November 20, 2008

GREELEY, Colo. -- A former Catholic priest, who was caught jogging naked in the small Weld County town of Frederick, was given five years probation Thursday and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Robert Whipkey was also ordered not to have contact with any children younger than 18, including family members. He must also serve 100 hours of community service and pay various court fees.

Whipkey's attorney has filed an appeal so the sentencing has been stayed until the appeal is heard, the Weld County District Attorney's Office said. No date has been set on the appeal.

Weld County Judge Timothy Kerns could have sentenced Whipkey up to 18 months in prison.

Whipkey, who was ordained in 1983, was the pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Frederick when he was arrested June 22, 2007 by an off-duty police officer who saw him walking nude along one of the main streets in Frederick just before daybreak.

The priest told the police officer he had been jogging on the track at nearby Frederick High School, and that he was nude because he "sweats a lot" when he exercises.

Whipkey told Kerns before sentencing that the indecent exposure conviction had ruined his life and that he is now unemployed.

"This conviction has cost me my career and my life," Whipkey said.

The Denver archdiocese said Whipkey was placed on leave last year. He officiated at parishes in Frederick, Mead and Erie.

The case attracted nationwide attention.


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