PITTSBURGH – Authorities say a 73-year-old church deacon sent and solicited obscene images from an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old boy.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh says Rosendo “Ross” Dacal, of McCandless, was placed on administrative leave and suspended from active ministry. He’s facing felony charges that include unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communications.

Authorities say the undercover officer was monitoring a chat room last December. They say a man later identified as Dacal exchanged hundreds of messages with the officer in the chatroom and via other social media between late December and Monday.

Dacal has served the All Saints Parish in Etna and the Allegheny County Jail since July 2011. It wasn’t known Thursday if he’s retained an attorney.

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