A Roman Catholic priest from Waterbury who stole more than $1 million in church money and spent it on male escorts, Armani clothes and nights out at gay bars has been sentenced to three years in prison.
After The Rev. Kevin Gray serves his time, he might be able to continue serving as a priest, according to the Archdiocese of Hartford,
A plea of no contest was entered on behalf of the 65-year-old priest and he was sentenced on Wednesday to three years of probation.
Gray was a priest at Sacred Heart Church in Waterbury and disappeared in April 2010. Documents he left behind revealed that he stole money from the church, as well as a gay lifestyle he was living in secret.
A police investigation revealed that Gray was sharing a small apartment on New York’s Upper East Side with a man he met in Central Park in 2005. It was decorated with a reproduction of part of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, stuck to the ceiling of the living room, and a poster that seems to be the Virgin Mary.
Gray paid the $2,000 rent each month and would visit for a few days every week,according to court records.
The plea means he didn't admit guilt, but a conviction for first-degree larceny was entered on his record, the Republican-American reports. The plea also allows Gray to deny the charge if there is a civil suit.
"Fr. Kevin Gray’s plea demonstrates that he is fully aware and responsible for the severity of his wrongdoing, and is repentant," the archdiocese said in a release. "After he completes his sentence, if devoted to his priestly commitment, he will be eligible to continue serving as a priest, but will never be placed in a position where he will manage finances."
Despite reports to the contrary, Gray will be expected to make some type of restitution to Sacred Heart-Sagrado Corazon Parish, the archdiocese said.
Gray's attorney called many of the charges against his client overblown.