Former pastor of St. Veronica Church in Howell arrested by clergy sex abuse task force

Asbury Park Press

September 20, 2019

By Kathleen Hopkins and Andrew J. Goudsward

A retired, former pastor of St. Veronica Roman Catholic Church in Howell has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an underage girl in the 1990s, authorities said.

The Rev. Brendan Williams, 78, who now resides in a retirement community for Catholic clergy in Lawrence, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree sexual assault related to criminal sexual contact on a victim who was younger than 13, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said in a news release.

Williams was pastor of St. Veronica Roman Catholic Church in Howell when the alleged criminal acts occurred between 1997 and 1999, the news release said. He is alleged to have touched the victim’s intimate parts with his hands on at least three occasions during that time period – twice in Colts Neck and once at a location in Ocean County, the news release said.

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