Priest accused of molesting parishioner, 14, while in New Jersey on a religious visa

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Father Jose Lopez of St. Mary’s Assumption Church

Father Jose Lopez of St. Mary’s Assumption Church was arrested after allegedly molesting a 14-year-old girl inside his private living quarters.

PASSAIC, New Jersey (PIX11) – A Passaic County priest is under arrest Thursday after he allegedly molested a 14-year-old parishioner, according to officials.

Father Jose Lopez, of St. Mary’s Assumption Church in Passaic, NJ, faces charges of luring a child, endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact after he allegedly brought a young girl to his private quarters for ‘counseling’ in January.

Lopez told the girl to sit on a couch so he could advise her on some personal problems, and while talking to her, had her sit on his lap, according to a prosecutor’s office news release.

He then allegedly began kissing her and “began to engage in sexual contact with her”, pulling her back each time she tried to get off the couch.  She finally managed to escape after Father Lopez apparently fell off the couch and onto the floor.

Lopez, who is a Colombian native in the U.S. on a religious worker’s visa, faces a maximum sentence of 16-and-a-half years in prison.  He is now being held on $50,000 bail.

2 comments

  • Judy Jones

    This young girl is very brave and to be commended for reporting her abuse to the police.
    It takes a lot of courage to come forward and take action to expose the truth about being sexually abused. And it is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Some have many.
    So let's hope that anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Fr Jose Lopez, will find the courage and strength to speak up and contact police, no matter how long ago the abuse happened.
    Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
    "SNAP (The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

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