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Italian Priest Accused of Hooking Up With Teen Boys Via Grindr

Antonello Tropea
Antonello Tropea

The priest has been arrested, and his bishop is accused of encouraging him to avoid the police.

An Italian Catholic priest has been arrested on charges of having sex with teenage boys he met through the gay dating app Grindr, and a bishop is accused of abetting him.

Antonello Tropea, a priest in the town of Messignadi in southern Italy, was arrested after a two-month investigation, Italian media reported Sunday, according to Agence France-Presse.

"Police suspicions were raised after officers found Tropea in a car in a secluded spot with a teenager, and the priest not only said he was a physical education teacher but had suspicious objects in his rucksack," AFP reports. It did not say what the suspicious objects were.

Police allege that Tropea was picking up teenagers on Grindr using the name Nicola, the name of the patron saint of his parish, San Nicola di Mira, and having sex with them in his car or at his rectory, according to the report. A prosecutor has accused Bishop Francesco Milito, Tropea's supervisor, of failing to investigate reports of Tropea's inappropriate and unlawful activities and encouraging the priest to avoid the police.

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