April 29, 2006

Priest receives probation for sexual abuse of boy

The Star-Ledger

Saturday, April 29, 2006
Star-Ledger Staff
In one of the few cases of its kind to make it to criminal court, a Roman Catholic priest was sen tenced to a probationary term yesterday for sexually abusing one of his parishioners.

Superior Court Judge Bette Uhrmacher in Freehold sentenced the Rev. Joseph McHugh to the maximum five years' probation and ordered that he have no unsuper vised contact with children or adolescents for the rest of his life for a crime she said destroyed the "entire belief system" of the victim and his family.

"Despite your compromised health, I'm still concerned about protecting the public -- in this case, particularly children and adolescents," Uhrmacher told the 60-year-old former pastor of St. Thomas More Church in Manala pan.

She often referred to a letter she received from the victim's mother that she said was "most moving and descriptive of what happens when a child's involved. It never goes away."

Posted by kshaw at April 29, 2006 08:25 AM