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Florida Bishop Arrested After Exchanging Community Service Hours for Hugs: Cops

Police received a tip in June that Leigh was falsifying During the investigation, Leight falsified an undercover officer's documents twice.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
    Charles Leigh

    A Tampa bishop was arrested after he gave an undercover officer credit for serving 50 community service hours in exchange for seven intimate hugs, police said Thursday.

    Charles M. Leigh, 64, is the head of the Apostolic Catholic Church, which is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. People on probation can perform community service hours at his church as part of their probation, Tampa Police said.

    Police received a tip in June that Leigh was falsifying the paperwork for court-ordered community service hours. During the investigation, he falsified an undercover officer's documents twice.

    On June 19, the undercover officer posed as a criminal serving probation for grand theft. Leigh gave her credit for 17 community service hours in exchange for four hugs, police said.

    On Wednesday, Leigh falsified records again for the undercover officer. He gave her credit for doing 33 community service hours in exchange for "three groping hugs," police said.

    Leigh had previously been arrested in 1976 for sexual battery and in 1978 for armed robbery. Both charges were later dropped, police said.

    However, he did serve five years in prison for a loan scheme, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

    He was arrested on six counts for falsifying public records and six counts for falsifying official records. These crimes are all considered misdemeanors, police said. 

    As of Thursday morning, Leigh was being held in jail on a $4,500 bond, according to online jail records. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.

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