Naked Jogging Priest Must Register As Sex Offender

Robert Whipkey Given Five Years Probation, Must Register As Sex Offender For Life

GREELEY, Colo. -- A former Catholic priest, who was caught jogging naked in the small Weld County town of Frederick, was given five years probation Thursday and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Robert Whipkey was also ordered not to have contact with any children younger than 18, including family members. He must also serve 100 hours of community service and pay various court fees.
Whipkey's attorney has filed an appeal so the sentencing has been stayed until the appeal is heard, the Weld County District Attorney's Office said. No date has been set on the appeal.

Weld County Judge Timothy Kerns could have sentenced Whipkey up to 18 months in prison.
Whipkey, who was ordained in 1983, was the pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Frederick when he was arrested June 22, 2007 by an off-duty police officer who saw him walking nude along one of the main streets in Frederick just before daybreak.

The priest told the police officer that he was nude because he "sweats a lot" when he exercises. He said he had been jogging on the track at nearby Frederick High School.

Whipkey told Kerns before sentencing that the indecent exposure conviction had ruined his life.
"This conviction has cost me my career and my life," Whipkey is quoted as saying by the Greeley Tribune.

The case attracted nationwide attention.
[Ed: while the advisability of running around a track naked in the predawn hours as a means of controlling perspiration might be questioned given today's climate of hysteria, that this "offense" rises to the level of a sex offense is quite preposterous. When one compares the widescale acceptance of nudity in much of Europe (for example, in Germany, nudity in public parks is quite commonplace), it should surprise no one that America is regarded by Europeans as extremely puritanical. But leaving aside comparisons to other countries, in our own country, a mere thirty years ago, "streaking"was a phenomenon that played out across the nation. Streaking, in which (mostly) adolescents ran around town, their school auditoriums, across the football field during a game, etc. completely nude was seen as a kind of exuberant display of personal courage and audacity.  Everyone (except for the most humorless prudes) laughed and maybe blushed but got over it very quickly. The "streakers" were not imprisoned nor did they face lifetime registration as sex offenders, nor were they otherwise "pathologized" and permanently castigated.  What the hell has happened to this country??]

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