According to The Morning Call, a New Jersey priest has pleaded guilty to a child sexual assault dating back almost three decades.
The charge against the Rev. Thomas Ganley was the first sexual assault case brought by the state’s clergy abuse task force, which was established last September. Ganley was charged in January, just two days after the victim had called the state’s clergy abuse hotline.
Ganley entered his plea Monday. The state attorney general’s office has recommended that he get a four-year prison term when he’s sentenced July 2.
The 63-year-old Ganley most recently was a parochial vicar at St. Philip and St. James Catholic Church in Phillipsburg.
Prosecutors say Ganley was a priest at Saint Cecelia Church in Woodbridge when the alleged assaults took place between 1990 and 1994. They say the victim was between the ages of 14 and 17.
“No child is a match for a seasoned pedophile,” said nationally recognized sex abuse attorney Jeff Herman. “Children become groomed and compliant for what’s going on. The priest’s guilty plea will go a long way helping this woman heal, but it’s just the beginning of her journey,” said Jeff.