A former priest at St. Martha”s Catholic Church in Point Pleasant Boro who was convicted of engaging in sexual contact with a teenage boy was named among a list of priests with credible accusations of sexual abuse against them. Three were from the Point Pleasant area.
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Romannilo Apura was named among 30 priests in a list released by the Diocese of Trenton on Wednesday, as the Catholic Church in New Jersey revealed more than 180 names across the state in an effort to help victims heal, church officials said.
The list shows 186 members of the clergy with ties to New Jersey who have faced allegations of child sex abuse. Nearly all of them were either sanctioned by the church, charged with a crime or both. Read More: List Of 186 NJ Priests Accused Of Child Sexual Abuse (UPDATED)
Others from the Point Pleasant area were:
Liam Minogue once served at St. Martha”s Church in Point Pleasant, among other churches, according to The Asbury Park Press. He died in 2007.
Also, Robert J. Parenti, 80, a priest at St. Denis Church in Manasquan who once served St. Veronica”s Catholic Church in Howell, was named, according to The Asbury Park Pess.
Apura was first arrested at his residence at St. Martha Parish in 2014 by detectives with the Mercer County Prosecutor”s Special Victims Unit, said Casey DeBlasio, spokeswoman for the prosecutor”s office, in a news release.
He ultimately pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2015. He was released in 2017.
Apura was accused of masturbating a teenage male victim in a home in Trenton in the late spring/early summer of 2014. A second incident occurred in June 2014 when Apura attempted to remove the same victim”s pants, DeBlasio said.
Apura became the priest at St. Martha”s July 1, 2012, according to the Trenton Monitor, a publication of the Diocese of Trenton. The diocese released a statement saying it learned of the Trenton incident on Aug. 18.
“Sexual abuse committed by anyone representing the Church is a sin against God and His people, and a betrayal of the trust placed in the Church by families,” a diocese statement said at the time. “We reiterate our firm commitment to the safeguards and initiatives in place to keep our children safe, and we ask the faithful throughout the diocese to pray for all who may have been harmed in this case.”
The release said Apura additionally has served in the parishes of St. Joachim, Trenton; St. Agnes, Atlantic Highlands; St. Maximilian Kolbe, Berkeley; Our Lady of Good Counsel, Moorestown; St. Ann Parish, Keansburg, and St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.
Mercer County Prosecutor”s Office photo
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