March 05, 2005

Ex-priest gets 8 years for sex assault

Courier Post

Courier-Post Staff
A former Roman Catholic priest, who served in four Camden County parishes in the 1990s, was sentenced Friday to eight years in state prison for sexually assaulting a boy a decade ago.

James Hopkins, 61, had pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault between May and December of 1995.

Hopkins, who was living in Florida when he was arrested in April 2003, will be sent to the state's Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center at Avenel, a facility for sex offenders diagnosed as compulsive and repetitive.

Inmates detained there generally serve a longer portion of their prison terms, often the whole sentence, than prisoners who get regularly scheduled parole reviews.

Superior Court Presiding Criminal Judge Linda G. Baxter said she took that into consideration in handing down Hopkins' sentence. A plea agreement between Assistant Camden County Prosecutor Donna Spinosi and defense attorney Robert Rosenberg included a maximum 10-year term.

The victim, now 20, did not attend the sentencing. His mother said he refuses to return to New Jersey.

Posted by kshaw at March 5, 2005 03:04 AM