Phillipsburg Priest Arrested and Charged with Sexual Assault of Teen
By Kayla Dwyer
January 18, 2019
|Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Saint Philip & Saint James Church in Phillipsburg, was charged with multiple criminal counts in the sexual assault of an underage girl in the early 1990s, authorities announced. (Handout)|
A Catholic priest from Phillipsburg has been arrested and charged with multiple criminal counts in the sexual assault of an underage girl in the early 1990s, authorities announced.
Father Thomas P. Ganley, 63, of Saint Philip & Saint James Church in Phillipsburg, was arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 16 — the first criminal case filed by the New Jersey Clergy Abuse Task Force since its formation in September 2018.
New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced the charges against him in a news release Thursday: one count of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree, and two counts of sexual assault in the second degree.
They say he assaulted a child between the ages of 14 and 17 from 1990 to 1994, while he was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in the Iselin section of Woodbridge, N.J.
He is charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault in the first degree and two counts of sexual assault in the second degree.
He is being held at the Middlesex County Adult Corrections Center in North Brunswick, N.J. His detention hearing is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 18.
Grewal formed the Task Force in response to the Pennsylvania grand jury report released in August, which outlines allegations of sexual abuse by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests against more than 1,000 victims in six Pennsylvania dioceses.
“Our Clergy Abuse Task Force is diligently pursuing its mission to expose the truth about past wrongs and seek justice for survivors, because no person is above the law and no institution is immune from accountability,” Grewal said, according to the news release. “This case illustrates that we are prepared to move swiftly to investigate allegations, and where there are viable criminal charges, to pursue those charges. We urge all survivors, witnesses of sexual abuse, and others with information to call our hotline.”
New Jersey’s 24/7 Clergy Abuse Hotline is 855-363-6548. Its trained professionals have received more than 350 calls to date, the news release states.
The investigation into Ganley is ongoing. Anyone with information should call Detective Paul Kelley at 732-745-4499 or Detective Julissa Alvarado 732-745-3711.