Accused Ex-Priest to Return to N.J.

Courier-Post [Camden NJ]
April 18, 2003

A former priest arrested in Florida will be returned to Camden County within two weeks to face sexual abuse charges.

James Hopkins, 60, was arrested Monday at his Stuart, Fla., home. He moved to Florida in 1999 amid allegations of sexual assault on children.

At a hearing Wednesday, Hopkins, who was being held in lieu of $75,000 bail, waived his right for an extradition hearing and agreed to return to New Jersey.

The former associate pastor at St. Pius X parish in Cherry Hill and St. Maurice Church in Brooklawn is charged with aggravated sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Hopkins also served at St. Peter's parish in Merchantville and at St. Aloysius parish in Oaklyn.

The incidents occurred between May and December 1995 in the Pennsauken home of the 10-year-old male victim and in Hopkins' car, authorities said. The victim of the alleged assaults, 17-year-old Jonathan Norton, said the arrest brought him relief.


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