News

Monument Dedicated To Sexual Abuse Victims Vandalized Again

Mendham Borough Welcome Sign (file / credit: Borough of Mendham)

Mendham Borough Welcome Sign (file / credit: Borough of Mendham)

MENDHAM, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police in the Morris County, N.J., borough of Mendham said they likely have some solid leads on whoever damaged a church monument dedicated to child sexual abuse victims.

As WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reported, the monument already has been destroyed once, and now the replacement has been damaged too.

Patrick Kelly is one of the child sexual abuse victims of the former priest at St. Joseph’s Church in Mendham. He said the vandalism was not completely unexpected.

“As with the first time, I wasn’t surprised,” he said.

After all, Kelly said, with a memorial to the victims at St. Joseph Church, some backlash is expected.

“But to have it destroyed again, it’s just a shame, it really is,” he said, “but we’ll repair it, we’ll fix it, we’ll put it back the way it was.”

In 2003, Patrick Kelly’s brother, Jim, committed suicide by getting hit by an oncoming train in Morristown, New Jersey.

At the funeral, an idea was born for a memorial for those sexually abused by priests.

The first black stone monument stood on the grounds of the church until November 2011, when Gordon Ellis, then 37, allegedly smashed it to bits with a sledgehammer.

The monument was replaced last year. But now, it has been vandalized again.

“Whether the police catch the person or persons who did it, it doesn’t matter to me,” Kelly said.

He said he is already at peace with what happened, but would not want to be in the vandal’s shoes.

“Something’s not right with the person who did it,” he said.

But Kelly said he holds no animosity to the vandal.

“None whatsoever,” he said.

Please leave your comments below…