Former priest has been detained for four years for sexually abusing a teenage girl in the 1990s after the victim had reported this to the Clergy Abuse Task Force hotline
- Priest Thomas Ganley is imprisoned for four years for sexual abuse of a teenage girl
- The victim said he had abused her at least 12 times in church and her house 30 years ago
- She was then a first-year student and reported the attack last year
- Case was the first to be brought to New Jersey under the Clergy Abuse Task Force
A former New Jersey priest was imprisoned for four years after sexually abusing a teenage girl ten years ago.
Reverend Thomas Ganley was a youth group adviser in Woodbridge in the early 1990s when the abuse took place.
The victim, who was between 14 and 17 years old at the time of the attack, called the clergy abuse reporting center to report the attack last year.
The 64-year-old diocese of the Catholic priest of Metuchen was arrested where he admitted the crime to the authorities and was subsequently removed from the priesthood.
The prosecution of Ganley was the first sexual assault that was initiated by the Task Force on the Abuse of Clergy, set up by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal last September to investigate the clergy and possible cover.
Rev. Thomas Ganley appears yesterday in the Supreme Court of Middlesex County, where he was imprisoned for four years for sexually abusing a teenage girl in the early 1990s.
Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in Woodbridge, New Jersey, (photo) when the attacks took place between 1990 and 1994
Ganley apologized to the court and the priesthood, but not to his victim during his hearing
He was detained in the Middlesex County Supreme Court on Monday for four years, according to the Courier News.
Judge Diane Pincus ordered Ganley not to have contact with the victim or her family, nor to have uncontrolled contact with a child under the age of 18. He must also register as a sex offender according to Megan's law.
Despite confessing the crime, Ganley told the court that he was friends with the girl and her family and described their relationship as consensual.
He then apologized to the priesthood, his family and friends, and the court, according to reports.
Ganley said: & # 39; I made a terrible mistake and I request that I receive the probationary period. I know I have disappointed some people. & # 39;
Assistant prosecutor Allysa Gambarella and Pincus have argued in court that Ganley did not apologize to his victim.
Before the hearing, Ganley met supporters in prayer in the corridor of the courthouse.
William Fetky, Ganley's lawyer, sought probation, time in prison, or three years in prison, but this was rejected.
Prosecutors say that Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in Woodbridge when the attacks took place between 1990 and 1994.
Thomas Ganley (right) reads his statement to the judge before he was convicted, as his lawyer William Fetky (left) listens yesterday in New Brunswick
Ganley is handcuffed from the courtroom after being sentenced to four years in prison after his guilty pleas for the sexual violence of children from nearly three decades
During this time, the victim said she was attacked at least 12 times in the church and her home when she was freshman in high school.
Ganley has 45 days to decide whether to appeal.
At the time of Ganley's arrest in January, he was assigned to St. Philip and St. James Catholic Church in Phillipsburg as a parochial pastor.
He belonged to the Diocese of Metuchen, a Roman Catholic diocese in New Jersey, centered in the Metuchen municipality.
The Clergy Abuse Task Force of New Jersey was established in September 2018 after the publication of a report by a Pennsylvania jury on more than 1,000 victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in that state over a 70-year period.
The report, which was the result of a multi-year investigation led by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, also contains detailed allegations of a cover by church leaders and allegations of sexual abuse against at least four priests who were part of their office in New spent Jersey.
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