Retired Howell Priest Charged In Sex Abuse Of Girl: Authorities


Sept. 20, 2019

By Karen Wall

A retired priest who served at St. Veronica Roman Catholic Church in Howell has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an underage girl in the late 1990s, authorities announced late Friday afternoon.

Father Brendan Williams, 78, of Lawrence, was arrested Friday and charged with second-degree sexual assault, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced.

Williams is accused of touching the intimate parts of the girl with his hand on at least three occasions from 1997 to 1999, authorities said. The girl was younger than 13 years old, they said.

St. Veronica was the last parish where Williams was pastor, according to information released by the Diocese of Trenton in February. Williams, who was ordained in 1965 had “multiple” credible accusations, the diocese said, and was removed from the ministry, though a 2012 report by the diocese publication the Trenton Monitor says he retired.

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