20 busted in Bedford rest stop sex sting

State police announced Monday the arrests of 20 men in a Bedford rest stop sex sting.

"We arrested a priest, people involved in local rotary clubs, professional businessmen who were on their way to work," said Trooper Joseph Lutz. The suspects also include convicted sex offenders.The priest is identified as 44-year-old Father Gary Mead, a vicar for the New York Archdiocese. He claims the arrest is a mistake because he was only caught dumping trash at the site.

The men range in age from 35 to 75, and police say many of them are married. However, they were allegedly caught soliciting gay sex at the rest stop along I-684.Authorities said the investigation came about when a man and his 10-year-old son saw men having sex behind the rest stop in the woods. The witness tipped off police.

Other travelers also expressed disgust. "This is not the place for it," said Gene Leavitt of Pennsylvania. "I come here with my wife and children and we don't stop at New York rest areas for that reason."

The suspects face charges ranging from trespassing to public lewdness to forcible touching. They're all due in Bedford court Nov. 1.

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