A Catholic priest who was sentenced last month to four months in jail for trying to lure a 14-year-old girl into his car in Vancouver’s Image neighborhood will now serve a portion of his sentence on a work crew.
Michael T. Patrick, 60, was back in Clark County Superior Court on Friday to review whether he had qualified to serve his four-month sentence through the Clark County Jail’s work-release program. The program allows inmates to work outside in the community and be confined when they’re not at work.
Patrick’s attorney, Thomas Phelan, told the court it is still unclear if Patrick will keep his job, which would allow him to qualify for the program.
Patrick, the former pastor of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Scappoose, Ore., is not currently assigned to a parish and is being investigated by the Archdiocese of Portland, spokesman David Renshaw previously told The Columbian. Patrick’s status will not change until the investigation is complete, he said.
Judge Gregory Gonzales ordered that Patrick begin serving his sentence on a work crew. Patrick must complete 30 days before his next court appearance on Aug. 19, during which time the judge will review his employment status and decide how he will serve the rest of his sentence.
In the meantime, Patrick still plans to travel to Sri Lanka to visit his dying mother, according to his attorney.
Patrick previously entered a guilty plea in Superior Court to attempted luring even though he denies the conduct.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the 14-year-old was walking home from school on Northeast 28th Street near 138th Avenue on March 10, 2014, when she noticed a man looking at her “strangely” from inside a blue 2007 Honda Pilot. The vehicle was traveling east on 28th Street, while the girl was walking west.
A short time later, the vehicle passed the girl again, she said, but this time it was headed west on the street. The vehicle then pulled over in the bike lane, and the driver opened his window and told her to get inside, the affidavit said.
The girl told the driver “no” and began walking faster. The man, later identified by police as Patrick, drove alongside her, asking her several more times if she wanted a ride, court records said. She declined each time. Patrick continued to follow her as she turned north on Northeast 132nd Avenue, according to court documents.
Patrick said, “Come on, cutie,” which alarmed the girl and prompted her to run to an in-home day care center on the east side of the street, the affidavit said. There, she called her mother. The girl waited at the residence until Patrick drove away, then ran home. Vancouver police located him the same day, based on his license plate number. He denied the accusations, according to court records.
The girl later identified Patrick as the man who had attempted to lure her, court documents state.
Patrick was arrested April 2, 2014, on a warrant at Los Angeles International Airport when he re-entered the United States after a trip to Australia. He was then extradited to Clark County.