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PITTSBURGH (AP) – A suspended 73-year-old church deacon accused of sending sexually explicit messages and photos to an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old boy has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

The move made Monday means Rosendo “Ross” Dacal, of McCandless, will be arraigned May 24.

(Source: Washington County Jail)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh put Dacal on administrative leave and suspended him from active ministry following his arrest earlier this month. He’s facing felony charges that include unlawful contact with a minor and criminal use of a communication facility.

Authorities say the 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.

Dacal has served the All Saints Parish in Etna and the Allegheny County Jail since July 2011. His attorney declined comment Monday.

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