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Priest accused of sex crime following NJ wedding


PROSPECT PARK, N.J. (AP) — A retired New Jersey priest has been charged with engaging in unwanted sexual contact with a man after officiating at a wedding.

Morris County prosecutors say the Rev. Philip Briganti, who now lives in El Paso, Texas, returned to New Jersey to officiate at a wedding Nov. 9 in the town of Prospect Park.

The alleged sexual contact occurred while the 67-year-old priest was on a bus trip to a hotel after the wedding reception.

Prosecutors were notified of the allegation by the Paterson Diocese, where Briganti had served. The diocese has suspended his right to perform ministerial duties.

Officials said Friday that Briganti was still in Texas, where he had spent many years as an Army chaplain at Fort Bliss. They didn’t know if he had an attorney yet.

He’s charged with one count of criminal sexual contact.