Hamilton Township Priest Accused of Molesting 11-Year-Old
Priest Originally from India
December 2, 2005

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A Roman Catholic priest in New Jersey was arrested Thursday and accused of molesting an 11-year-old girl in his parish.

The Mercer County prosecutor's office said that the Rev. James Selvaraj, 46, an adjunct priest of St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish, has been charged with one count of endangering the welfare of a child in connection with an incident on Sept. 28.

Selvaraj is a priest of the Diocese of Tuticorin, India, and has been working for the Diocese of Trenton since 1998. He had been at St. Raphael's for more than one year.

"It's scary. My wife's starting to get really upset," said Bob Adams, a Hamilton Township resident who has children in the church's school. "(My wife) doesn't want to take (our children) out because it is only one incident, one priest."

Prosecutors would not go into specifics about the allegations.

"I really, deep down, believe it's a misinterpretation, miscommunication, perception — whatever you want to call it — but it just doesn't sound like Father James," said John Celinski, of Hamilton Township.

The Trenton Diocese released a statement on Friday.

"We are deeply saddened for all parties involved by today's announcement from the prosecutor's office regarding Rev. James Selvaraj."

Selvaraj has been removed from his duties at the school and at the church. Selvaraj's attorney said he is confident the priest will be exonerated.


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