A Mendham, New Jersey man admitted to using a sledgehammer to destroy a local church monument to victims of clergy sexual abuse.
39-year-old Gordon Ellis pleaded guilty in Morris County Superior Court to wrecking the St. Joseph’s Church monument in November 2011.
Ellis told the court that he has “no excuse” for his actions but declined to explain why he had committed the vandalism.
After he initially faced jail time, Ellis was able to avoid jail after pleading guilty to a reduced charge of criminal mischief as a disorderly persons offense. Ellis was sentenced to two years of probation. Additionally, he will be required to pay $7,500 in restitution to the St. Joseph Church.
Morris County Superior Court Judge Mary Gibbons Whipple also ordered Ellis to undergo mental health supervision and receive counseling through the Morris County probation department.
The monument was first installed in 2003 and dedicated in 2004 to children who suffered sexual abuse at St. Joseph’s Church. Since that time, it has been destroyed – and subsequently replaced – on two occasions.
To learn more about this case, read the NJ.com article entitled “Man Gets Probation for Destroying Mendham Church Monument to Clergy Sex Abuse Victims.“
If you are facing criminal mischief charges in New Jersey, contact Morristown NJ criminal defense attorney Alissa D. Hascup for a free consultation about your case.