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Man Pleads Guilty To Destroying Monument To Clergy Sex Abuse Victims

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

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

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MORRISTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New Jersey man admitted Wednesday to using a sledgehammer to smash a monument of victims of clergy sexual abuse in Morristown.

Morris County authorities said Gordon Ellis, 39, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a downgraded charge of criminal mischief as a disorderly person offense. The Mendham man will not have to serve a jail term, but must pay $7,500 in restitution and will be put on probation when he’s sentenced Feb. 7.

Ellis, who authorities said has a history of psychiatric problems, destroyed the 400-pound millstone memorial outside St. Joseph Church in Mendham in November 2011. Authorities said the reasons behind the vandalism will be disclosed at the sentencing hearing.

The monument was replaced but was then vandalized again in March 2013 and replaced again. No arrests have been made in the second incident.

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