Defrocked priest, who admitted abusing a dozen children, dies at nursing home


April 28, 2020

By Chris Sheldon

A former Morris County priest who was defrocked in 2003 after he admitted abusing a dozen child parishioners in Mendham and Pompton Plains over the course of 14 years, died last week, officials said.

James T. Hanley died at a nursing home, Paterson Diocese attorney, Kenneth Mullaney, confirmed, adding that the diocese was informed of his death last week.

Mullaney did not say which nursing home Hanley was at at the time of his death or if he died from coronavirus as so many others across the state have over the last few months.

Hanley had been receiving a stipend from the church, Mullaney said.

The former priest, who served as a pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Mendham for 10 years, had been accused of victimizing several more children and in 2004, the Diocese of Paterson settled lawsuits with 21 of Hanley’s accusers for nearly $5 million.

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