Police: Pastor facing charges after meeting up with ‘predator catcher’

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BLAKESLEE, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A pastor of Most Holy Trinity Parish was arrested Friday. He’s facing multiple sex crime charges after police say a “predator catcher” met up with the Cresco pastor.

Police say 42-year-old Gregory Loughney came to meet with who he thought was going to be a 15 and 16-year-old boy inside. Instead, he was confronted by a member of the 570 Predator Catchers.

Around 8:30 p.m. Friday night, Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department were dispatched to Wawa in Blakeslee for a verbal altercation in the store and parking lot.

The predator catcher had confronted Father Gregory Loughney inside. They quickly took their discussion to the parking lot.

As police responded to the scene, Loughney called 911.

According to the affidavit, Loughney told a dispatcher with the Monroe County Control Center: “I made a mistake and I need to report myself.”

Loughney is accused of exchanging sexually explicit messages with a member of the 570 Predator Catchers who posed as a 15-year-old boy.

They met on Tinder and continued their conversation to WhatsApp where investigators say they talked about showering together, having oral sex and using sex toys.

“Obviously this is a very disturbing case, but certainly when we have child victims, it’s something that we take extremely seriously. It’s something that we prioritize,” Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department Chief Chris Wagner said.

Loughney is facing numerous charges including statutory sexual assault, corruption of minors and indecent assault.

“There was no actual minor involved in the case,” said Chief Wagner.

But one member of the Cresco community says it could easily have been.

“Children are children… They’re prone to that sort of thing and predators know how to talk to them,” said C’Anne Sorriero, owner of Barn Door Antiques.

Sorriero says she was shocked to hear of it in their small community.

“It’s frightening to hear something like that something so close… Someone you should trust be able to trust,” Sorriero said.

Loughney has posted bail. Police ask if anyone has been victimized to come forward.

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