Filipino priest accused of sex abuse in New Jersey parish
DALY CITY, California – A Filipino priest in Point Pleasant, New Jersey is being investigated after being accused of the sexually abusing a 16-year-old boy.
Father Romannilo “Nilo” Apura, 67, a pastor at St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant was taken into custody on Thursday, August 28, the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office said.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly.com, the Diocese of Trenton learned about the alleged abuse this week.
Apura is accused of having sexual contact with the boy in late spring or early summer at a Trenton home. Philly.com, citing prosecutors, reported that in a separate incident in June, he tried to remove the boy’s pants, prosecutors said.
Apura is facing charges of second-degree endangering the welfare of child, third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact and fourth-degree attempt to commit criminal sexual contact.
No other complaints have been reported against the priest, stated the diocese. He previously served at the parishes of St. Joachim in Trenton, St. Agnes in Atlantic Highlands, St. Maximilian Kolbe in Toms River, Our Lady of Good Counsel in Moorestown, St. Ann in Keansburg, and St. Mary of the Assumption in Trenton.
Bishop David O’Connell has suspended Apura immediately, pending the outcome of the investigations. He is no longer permitted to celebrate Mass, wear priestly garb or present himself as a priest, Philly.com further reported.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the prosecutor’s office at 609-989-6568 or the Diocese of Trenton abuse hotline at 1-888-296-2965.
Subscribe to our global nation newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.