The 67-year-old suspect served as pastor at St. Rose of Lima Church in the Short Hills section of Millburn, New Jersey. He has been the pastor at the church since 1998.
According to authorities, the allegation stems from a previous position at another parish. The suspect has been accused of committing sexual abuse while he was a pastor at St. John the Evangelist Church in Bergenfield, NJ.
When the archdiocese was notified of the sexual abuse allegation, they followed protocol and contacted the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.
While the prosecutor’s office looks into the accusation, the Archdiocesan Review Board will also conduct its own investigation.
At this time, details of the investigation are sparse. Authorities have declined to reveal if the accuser in this case is male or female.
If it is determined that the allegations are true, the suspect could be permanently removed from the ministry. Moreover, he would be subject to serious criminal charges such as sexual assault.
In the meantime, while the investigation is still pending, the pastor has agreed to voluntarily step down. According to a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, announcement of the pastor’s resignation was read aloud during mass at church.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Pastor of Short Hills Church Steps Down Following Allegation of Sexual Abuse; Authorities Notified.”