Priest Nabbed in FBI Sting Pleads Not Guilty

By Robert Patrick
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 3, 2009

ST. LOUIS • The priest accused in an FBI sex sting last week pleaded not guilty on Monday.

The Rev. James Patrick Grady, 57, pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church in south St. Louis, was arrested Wednesday after allegedly agreeing to pay $80 for oral sex from a 16-year-old girl. Grady was responding to an online ad offering young girls, federal court documents say.

Grady and his lawyer were in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to answer a charge of attempting to obtain a minor for a commercial sex act, which carries a potential penalty of 10 years to life in prison.

The Archdiocese declined to comment on the case Monday.

Grady's trial is currently scheduled for Oct. 5.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Howard Marcus filed notice Monday that evidence includes e-mails and phone conversations allegedly exchanged between Grady and an undercover officer, as well as video of his visit to a house where the 16-year-old was supposedly located and the things he said after his arrest.

Investigators also searched Grady's car and computer.

Grady and his lawyer will have the opportunity to challenge those materials at a hearing currently scheduled for Aug. 24.

Grady was one of three men charged in the sting targeting that began in early July to target the customers of child prostitutes.

Bank employee Matthew S. Nichol, 43, responded to the ad on July 13 and eventually agreed to pay $200 to have sex with two girls, the charging documents claim.

David P. Hawkey, 25, who works for a landscaping company, agreed to pay $80 for sex with a 14-year-old girl, court documents say.


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