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Thursday, April 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Man Accused of Trying to Extort Church

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - A convicted pedophile is accused of trying to extort the Archdiocese of St. Louis for the same crime. Police say Steven D. Gillispie, 45, made up a story about a priest raping his 5-year-old son and demanded $200,000 or else he would go public. Police said Gillispie doesn't even have a young son.

Gillispie allegedly showed church officials a doctor's report suggesting that the boy had received psychological treatment. Police say the letter was a fake and that Gillispie has no such son.

Gillispie is charged with felony stealing and forgery and is being held in the St. Louis County jail.

Gillispie was paroled in February after serving 14 years of a 25-year sentence for three counts of aggravated sodomy against a 5-year-old girl. Gillispie assaulted her several times in 1994, court records state.

In a telephone interview from jail, Gillispie told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he was innocent of the sodomy charges but was guilty of the extortion charges. He told the reporter that a priest had given him $2,000 this year after Gillispie complained that a monk had exposed himself, and that he made up the story about a son because he was mad he didn't get more.

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