MORRISTOWN, NJ — A newly ordained Roman Catholic priest accused of groping a 13-year-old girl under her skirt won't have to remain in jail while the charges are pending in New Jersey.
Rev. Marcin Nurek, newly ordained, wore an orange jumpsuit instead of a priest collar in court Wednesday. His hands looked like they were clasped in prayer, but they were really just holding up handcuffs.
He said little in court, but Judge Paul Armstrong said a lot.
Specifically, the judge detailed the allegations that this 37-year-old priest from Poland, who was set to become parochial vicar of Saint Catherine of Sienna Church in Mountain Lakes next week, instead stands accused of a crime involving a 13-year-old girl on a downtown Boonton street
"Female xx states that he groped her under her skirt and over her underwear," Judge Paul Armstrong said. "The defendant then self admitted to touching victim on her buttocks."
Outside court, the lawyer for the priest, who arrived from Poland two years ago and was ordained just last month, questioned whether Rev. Nurek understood the charges against him when he gave his statement to police.
"Did he understand his Miranda rights? Did he understand what he was being interviewed about," William Ware, the priest's lawyer asked PIX11. "He does not have a facility with English."
Before the detention hearing, there was a protest against the priest by a group called Road to Recovery, advocates for clergy sex assault victims. And their founder, a former catholic priest, had several questions.
"He was ordained 33 days ago," Robert Hoatson, the founder, told PIX11. "One of the qualifications is to communicate in the native language to say mass and perform various rituals. This man knew what he did was heinous in Polish or English."