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Undercover prostitution bust nabs Utah Catholic priest

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SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – A Catholic priest is on administrative leave after being charged with one count of patronizing a prostitute. 

Andrzej Pawel Skrzypiec, 63, of Salt Lake City was arrested Aug. 24 after undercover officers discovered Skrzypiec driving around the parking lot at 200 North 900 West, “making eye contact” with an undercover officer posing as a street prostitute. 

Skrzypiec tried to get the officer to enter his vehicle, but she declined, telling Skrzypiec there were too many police officers around, according to a probable cause statement. The undercover officer asked Skrzypiec if he wanted sex, and he declined, saying later he wanted oral sex; he agreed to pay the officer $30. 

Skrzypiec was pulled over after the deal was made, and arrested. He told police “that he told the females they were too pretty to be prostitutes and claimed the females said something about oral sex.” The probable cause statement goes on to say Skrzypiec “claimed he was in the area to get a taco from the taco stand.”

The Salt Lake City Diocese confirmed Skrzypiec is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. A statement was read at the pulpit of Saint Ambrose Church in Salt Lake City and at J.E. Cosgroff Memorial School, where Skrzypiec was employed. He was known as “Father Andrew.”

Here is the full statement: 

On Tuesday of this past week, September 24, 2018, the District Attorney’s office for Salt Lake County filed a single charge of solicitation of an adult female against Fr. Andrew.  This charge is a class A misdemeanor.  Fr. Andrew from the beginning has denied the allegations.

Fr. Andrew was placed on leave from his ministerial duties when this incident was reported to the Diocese.  Now that charges have been formally filed, Bishop Oscar A. Solis has put Fr. Andrew under administrative leave for three months until this matter is resolved.  We ask that you keep Fr. Andrew in your prayers.

During his absence, Father Joshua Santos has been assigned temporary Administrator of Saint Ambrose Parish and chaplain of J.E. Cosgriff Memorial Catholic School.”

 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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