WINTER HAVEN (FOX 13) – A pastor has been arrested for allegedly trying to get an undercover officer to perform oral sex on him in public.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office says Stephen Glenn Charest, 66, was arrested and charged with one count of solicitation to commit lewdness after the incident happened near the Lake Fannie boat ramp on Tuesday.
According to the undercover deputy’s report, Charest, who is a pastor at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Lake Wales, walked into a wooded area near the ramp, and because of recent reports of lewd activity nearby, the deputy followed.
“Then after some casual conversation I asked the unknown male what he was doing in the wooded area,” the arrest affidavit explains. “The defendant stated the following, ‘I want you to [expletive describing a lewd act]’.”
The affidavit goes on to say that the deputy questioned Charest’s intentions at least two more times before his arrest.
“I then asked the defendant, ‘Ok, is that what you want me to do?’ The defendant replied, ‘Yeah’,” the report says. “I then asked the defendant, ‘You ready?’. The defendant then replied, ‘Yeah’.”
But instead of the sex act, Charest was shown a badge, and then placed under arrest.
The sheriff’s office says Charest was booked into the Polk County Jail, and then later released after posting a $250 bond.
and, nearly six years ago……
Priests dismissal raises questions
From the 05 June 2010 blogspot Clerical Whispers
When Bishop Victor Galeone dismissed priest Glenn Charest of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, many in the parish were curious about the decision.
Charest is popular with the congregation, and the dismissal came as a surprise to many parishioners.
Galeone did not explain his reasons for dismissing Charest, which lead to speculation and rumors about the priest’s dismissal.
Monsignor Daniel Logan, who leads the congregation at Our Lady, warned the parishioners, “Make sure what ever you say it’s true before you say anything about it.”
Cathleen Bagg, director of communications for the Diocese of St. Augustine, said the diocese does not comment on clergy personnel decisions, but that the dismissal had nothing to do with abuse.
Some members of the church vocalized their disagreement with the Bishop’s decision.
Church member Tim Jones organized a petition to send to the bishop asking him to reverse his decision.
In an e-mail, Jones wrote, “This action by the Bishop has the potential to dramatically affect the health and strength of our parish at a time when it’s growing and becoming stronger.”
Logan said the bishop had supreme authority and that a petition drive within the Catholic Church was very unusual and probably would do more harm than good.
Charest was ordained in 1977 and served in Orlando and Richmond before taking a break to work in the insurance industry for 20 years. He returned to active ministry three years ago, and would have been working for Our Lady Star of the Sea for two years this July.
Charest will serve at the church until June 30. He said he wasn’t completely sure why he was being dismissed, but said that if it was anything immoral he would have been dismissed immediately and if it were anything illegal he’d be in jail.
Logan said Charest was a fine priest and he didn’t know why he was being dismissed, but that the dismissal wasn’t unusual. Logan served four different churches before settling at Our Lady Star of the Sea.
Charest is pursuing another ministry within Florida.
Shades of our Canadian Oblate priest Father Rocky Grimard, who, last November, pleaded no contestant to similar charges in Texas and is probably wrapping up his six month probation right about now!
Note that I attached the 2010 post from Clerical Whispers. It’s all rather bizarre . Father Charest took a little 20 year break from the priesthood to ‘work in the insurance industry.’ Why? Why an inexplicable and protracted 20 year ‘break’ from his vocation? What prompted this? And why, I wonder, if he no longer wanted to serve as a priest did he just not seek laicization?
He’s back serving as a priest all of three years and this! Soliciting.
What is this man doing in the priesthood? That’s my question. What the heck is he doing in the priesthood?