Matthew Riedlinger, priest at St. Aloysius in Jackson, on leave after reported sexting scandal

Asbury Park Press

Written by
Amanda Oglesby

JACKSON — A Catholic priest who once ministered to a congregation in Jackson has taken a leave of absence following a sexting scandal with a man he reportedly thought was a 16-year-old boy.

Father Matthew Riedlinger preached at St. Aloysius Church in Jackson until August of 2012, when he entered counseling following complaints of inappropriate cell phone text conversations with other adults, according to church leadership.

While in out-patient treatment, Riedlinger continued having sexual conversations, prompting the Diocese of Trenton to remove him from St. Aloysius Church.

Timothy Schmalz, 23, of Washington D.C. complained to the Diocese in 2011 about Riedlinger’s behavior, saying the priest sexually harassed him, according to The Star-Ledger. To expose Riedlinger, Schmalz pretended online to be a 16-year-old boy and recorded text message conversations between himself and Riedlinger, and later forwarded them onto the Diocese, according to the newspaper. Schmalz declined an interview with the Asbury Park Press.

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