Mass. priest arrested on prostitution charge

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — A high-ranking priest with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has taken a voluntary leave after being accused of soliciting a prostitute.

Authorities say the Rev. Arthur Coyle was granted $500 bail after pleading not guilty Monday in Lowell to a count of sexual conduct for a fee.

Coyle is the episcopal vicar for the Merrimack Region, meaning he oversees several parishes in the area. He lives at the rectory of St. Rita’s parish in Lowell.

Police say the 62-year-old Coyle was arrested Sunday after he was allegedly found with a prostitute behind a Lowell cemetery.

The Boston Archdiocese says Coyle will remain on administrative leave, pending the outcome of his case. He’s prohibited from performing any public ministry during that time.

Coyle was ordained in 1977 and has been vicar since 2008.

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