South Jersey Priest Sexually Abused Teen Boy: Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Father Romannilo Apura, 67, is facing sex abuse charges.

    A South Jersey priest is accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy on more than one occasion.

    Police arrested 67-year-old Reverend Romannilo Apura Thursday and charged him with aggravated criminal sexual contact, endangering the welfare of a child and other related offenses.

    Apura sexually abused the teen in a Trenton home sometime in late spring of this year, according to police. The suspect then attempted to remove the same victim's pants in a separate incident in June 2014, according to authorities.

    Officials with the Diocese of Trenton learned of the allegations against Apura Monday and immediately turned the complaint, the first against the suspect, over to authorities, according to a Diocese spokeswoman.

    The suspect had served as the pastor of St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant, Ocean County since July 2012, a Diocese spokeswoman said.

    Prior to St. Martha Parish, Apura served in six other parishes across South Jersey including St. Joachim in Trenton; St. Agnes in Atlantic Highlands; St. Maximilian Kolbe in Toms River; Our Lady of Good Counsel in Moorestown; St. Ann Parish in Keansburg; and St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton.

    Both police and the Diocese urge anyone who may have information about Apura's case to contact the Mercer County prosecutor's special victims unit at 609-989-6568 and the Diocese of Trenton Abuse Hotline at 1-888-296-2965.

    The Diocese suspended Apura, meaning he is prohibited from celebrating Mass publicly, wearing clothes that would indicate he is a priest and presenting himself as a priest.

    Apura is being held at the Mercer County Correction Center on $100,000 bail.

    Mercer County Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez Jr. ordered Apura surrender his passport and have no contact with the victim or any other children as conditions of his bail.