Ex-Priest Still Jailed in Incident with Bat
He Remains Held on $50,000 Bail after Hudson County Clash

By Abbott Koloff
Dail Record [New Jersey]
December 12, 2006

James T. Hanley, a former priest who has admitted to sexually abusing children decades ago in Mendham, appeared in a Hudson County courtroom Monday on charges from an incident in which he allegedly brandished a bat during an argument with a hotel manager.

Hanley spent the past month in Hudson County jail, where he is being held on $50,000 bail after being indicted on third-degree charges of making terroristic threats and possession of a weapon, law enforcement officials said Monday. Hanley has said he was using the bat as a walking cane.

Howard Bell, an assistant Hudson County prosecutor, said Monday's court appearance was a routine status conference. The public defender representing Hanley did not return a phone call.

Hanley, former pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Mendham, has been accused of molesting children in Mendham and elsewhere decades ago. He was a central figure in a lawsuit involving more than two dozen victims who received a $5 million settlement from the Paterson Roman Catholic Diocese in 2005.

He had been charged with aggravated assault earlier this year after police alleged he swung a baseball bat during a dispute with management at a hotel in Secaucus. He said he was staying in the hotel while in moving from an apartment in Paterson.

Abbott Koloff can be reached at (973) 989-0652 or


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