Defrocked Priest, Who Admitted Abusing a Dozen Children, Dies at Nursing Home
By Chris Sheldon
April 28, 2020
|Former Catholic priest James Hanley appears in the courtroom of Hudson County Superior Court Judge Sheila Venable in Jersey City on Thursday, February 22, 2007, with his lawyer, John Conbery.Reena Rose Sibayan|
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.
He was one of the first priests to be defrocked for sexually abusing children in the aftermath of a national Roman Catholic Church scandal.
Hanley also pleaded guilty in 2008 to a bail-jumping charge stemming from a missed December 2007 court date in an assault case.
The assault charges were filed against Hanley after a March 2006 incident at a Secaucus motel. Hanley pleaded guilty in 2006 in that case, to the reduced charge of unlawful possession of a weapon. He admitted using an aluminum bat to intimidate three employees at the Extended Stay Hotel.
Thank you for relying on us to provide the journalism you can trust. Please consider supporting NJ.com with a voluntary subscription.