Report: Middlesex County Priest Barred From Ministry After Sex Abuse Allegation

MIDDLESEX COUNTY – The Catholic Church has indefinitely barred the pastor of a Jamesburg church from the ministry following an accusation that he sexually abused a developmentally disabled man in the 1990s, according to a Star-Ledger report.

In a letter to the parishioners of St. James Parish, Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski asked for prayers for Father Kevin P. Dugan, 59, who has also been struggling with alcoholism.

Dugan denies the sexual abuse allegations, which date back to a time when the priest was serving at St. James Parish in Woodbridge.  The allegations came to light when the alleged victim, who suffers from a neurological impairment, told a nurse about the alleged abuse when he was hospitalized for emotional problems in April, according to the report.

The alleged victim has accepted the diocese’s offer to pay for counseling, according to the report.

Bootkoski referred the case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

St. James the Less Church continues to be led by interim administrator, the Rev. Msgr. John B. Szymanksi.

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