N.J. Priest Pleads Guilty in Montreal Sex Sting
Charges against Other Cleric Are Dropped
By John Chadwick
The Record [Bergen County NJ]
April 10, 2003
The case against two North Jersey Catholic priests arrested in a Montreal sex sting last summer took a turn Thursday, with one of them pleading guilty, and prosecutors withdrew the charges against the other.
The Rev. Eugene Heyndricks pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for sex, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark said. He returns to court May 1 for a sentencing hearing. Prosecutors withdrew the charges against the Rev. William Giblin, accused of helping to arrange the encounter between Heyndricks and the 16-year-old male prostitute.
The charges were withdrawn because of a lack of evidence, said Giblin's lawyer, Richard Shadley of Montreal.
"The Crown [Canadian prosecutors] stated they did not wish to go forward, and the charge was withdrawn," Shadley said.
Even so, both priests will remain on indefinite leave while the archdiocese conducts its own investigation, spokesman Jim Goodness said. The nation's bishops approved tough new rules last year for abusive priests. Bishops must remove a priest after a single incident of child abuse.
"I imagine we would be looking at the allegations for both priests, and ultimately developing information for any action in the future," Goodness said.
The July 18 arrests of Giblin, 70, and Heyndricks, 60, shocked North Jersey Catholics, many of them still reeling from the national clergy sex-abuse scandal.
The two priests, who had long careers in the archdiocese, were arrested while traveling in a well-known gay neighborhood in Montreal, police said.
Heyndricks, raised in Fair Lawn, served in parishes in Ridgewood, Park Ridge, and Fairview. At the time of his arrest, he was working at St. John Nepomucene in Guttenberg.
Giblin, a Newark native, was a former headmaster at Seton Hall Preparatory School in West Orange. He was most recently living in retirement in the rectory of Holy Rosary Church in Edgewater.
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