Priest sentenced: ‘I didn’t do anything wrong’

Asbury Park Press

Kathleen Hopkins, @Khopkinsapp January 30, 2015

TOMS RIVER – A Brick priest was sentenced Friday to two years on probation for groping a woman in 2012.

Rev. Marukudiyil Velan, better known as “Father Chris” to parishioners at Church of the Visitation in Brick, told Superior Court Judge James M. Blaney that he was innocent before the judge placed him probation and ordered him to undergo a psychiatric examination.

“I can’t bear any more of this pain,” the 67-year-old priest told the judge. “I didn’t do anything wrong. … I couldn’t believe what happened.”

Blaney disagreed with the diminutive clergyman.

“The reality is, that you did do something wrong,” Blaney told him. “You were in a position of trust, a sacred trust, a spiritual trust. … You took advantage of your position as a priest and violated that trust. That’s wrong.”

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