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Former priest indicted for alleged sexual assault of minor

A former Catholic priest in New Jersey who admitted to a news source that he had sexually assaulted a 15-year-old boy was indicted by a grand jury on May 25 for the act. The incident allegedly happened in 2003, and the ex-priest is believed to now live somewhere in Ecuador, his native country.

Reportedly, the youth went to the priest for a confession after becoming confused about his sexuality. He alleges that the priest then sexually assaulted him in a rectory bedroom. The boy is now a 28-year-old man. The alleged victim reportedly told another priest and a nun about the incident, prompting the ex-priest to leave the country in 2003.

A criminal investigation into the complaint was initiated at that time, but it wasn't pursued until July 2015, when local media reported on the case. According to reports, the ex-priest made admissions to a reporter via emails and telephone calls that he had committed the assault. He allegedly characterized it as a mistake and indicated that the youth had wanted it to happen.

A conviction for a sex offense can lead to a completely altered life. People who are convicted may face many years in prison, have to register as a sex offender and be forced to attend sex offender treatment. When the alleged event involved a minor and happened several years ago, a criminal defense attorney with experience in defending against allegations of sex assault may take a closer look at the applicable statute of limitations, which could potentially be an issue, as in some cases the charges have to be filed within a certain number of years of the alleged victim reaching the age of majority.

Source: NJ, "Ex-priest indicted in sexual assault of 15-year-old boy," Mark Mueller, May 25, 2016

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