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WATERBURY, Conn. -- The former pastor of a Waterbury church has been arrested in connection with an investigation into the theft of church money
, 64, turned himself in to Waterbury police Tuesday morning after learning of a warrant for his arrest on larceny charges.
Gray is accused of stealing money from Sacred Heart Church
over the course of seven years. Police said Gray used the money to pay for personal expenses, including hotels, restaurants, clothing and male escorts. He is accused of taking $1.3 million
over the seven years.
Police said Gray spent $200,000
on various Manhattan restaurants, $100,000
on hotels, $80,000
on clothing and designer suits and $45,000
on rent and tuition for two men.
Police said when they confronted Gray, he told them he was unhappy with his church assignments and said, "He began taking money because he felt the church owed it to him
Gray was suspended last month by the Archdiocese of Hartford
from all of his priestly duties and can no longer function as a priest in Connecticut or anywhere in the country, according to officials.
Officials said Gray was the priest at Sacred Heart from Jan. 1, 2003, through April 15, 2010, when he was placed on an indefinite leave of absence for medical reasons.
Now, the archdiocese said it is looking into whether claims Gray made about being sick were even true. When the archdiocese asked for records that were missing over those years, Gray said he fell behind because he was sick.
The archdiocese went to police last month and asked for an investigation to be launched, which culminated in Gray's arrest.