Accused Visitation Priest out on Bail

By Daniel Nee
The Patch
July 19, 2012

The Brick Township priest arrested last weekend for two sex offenses is now out on bail.

Fr. Marukudiyil C. Velan, 64, had been in jail since last Saturday following his arrest on two counts of criminal sexual contact and a single count of endangering the welfare of a child. His bail had been set at $75,000 cash but later changed to $100,000 with a 10 percent bond option.

He was bailed out Thursday.

"The Diocese was informed that bail was posted for Father Christudas but we are not aware of who posted it," said Rayanne Bennett, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Trenton, referring to Velan's full name according to the diocese, Velanmarukudiyil J. Christudas.

Because the allegation against Velan involved a minor, Bennett said, he will not be permitted to reside in or on property owned by the diocese, which includes the grounds of Visitation.

Velan has responsibility "for all expenses he incurs in connection with his case."

"His religious superiors in India and Rome, who are responsible for him, have been fully briefed by the Bishop of Trenton, who is cooperating with them and civil authorities," said Bennett.

Velan, who was known as "Father Chris" and assigned to Church of the Visitation, was charged after a woman filed a report claiming Velan had innapropriate contact with her and her minor child during a visit at her home last Friday.

Authorities have not released any photos of Velan.


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