Charles Leigh: Apostolic Catholic Church bishop arrested, accused of falsifying paperwork

TAMPA - Tampa Police arrested the leader of a Tampa church during an undercover operation on Wednesday.

After receiving a tip in June that Bishop Chuck Leigh, 64, was falsifying court probation paperwork for defendants ordered to perform community service hours, Tampa Police organized an undercover operation inside the Apostolic Catholic Church on N. Nebraska.

Police told the I-Team, that people ordered to probation came to Bishop Leigh.  But instead of performing  community service, Bishop Leigh signed off on court paperwork in exchange for hugs from women.

The I-Team was there as Tampa Police prepped for their undercover mission and sent an officer inside the church.

I-Team Investigator Michael George witnessed Bishop Leigh ask the undercover officer for seven intimate hugs, then fill out paperwork stating that the undercover officer had completed 50 hours of community service.

Minutes after Leigh signed the paperwork, officers broke down the locked doors of the church and arrested the clergyman.

On June 19, an undercover Tampa Police officer also posed as a defendant serving probation on grand theft charge. Leigh falsified the officer's probation documents giving her credit for 17 community service hours in exchange for 4 hugs.

Leigh has been arrested and charged with six counts of falsifying official documents.

Tampa Police are looking into additional charges including fraud and abuse of power.

The I-Team has discovered that Leigh has a prior arrest history.

In 1976, Tampa Police arrested Leigh on a charge of strong arm sexual battery.  Investigators said he allegedly picked up a woman in his car, then sexually assaulted her inside a home.  The charge was later dropped.

In 1978, Leigh was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office for armed robbery.  Those charges were also eventually dropped.

The Apostolic Catholic Church is unaffiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.


Print this article Back to Top