Passaic County First Assistant Prosecutor Neil J. Cleary announces that following a trial before the Honorable Sohail Mohammed, Judge of the Superior Court, a Passaic County jury has convicted Father Jose Lopez-Durango, 37, of St. Mary’s Assumption Church in Passaic, of luring, a second degree crime; endangering the welfare of a child, a third degree crime; and criminal sexual contact, a fourth degree crime.
The jury acquitted Father Lopez-Durango on the second degree charge of attempted sexual assault.
Father Lopez-Durango, who is also affiliated with St. Nicholas Church, in Passaic, New Jersey, was arrested on July 25, 2013 on a complaint that in January 2013 he lured a 14-year old female parishioner to his private quarters in the rectory at St. Mary’s Church, put the victim on his lap, kissed her and began to engage in sexual contact with her.
A native of Columbia, South America, Father Lopez- Durango has been residing in the United States on a Religious Worker’s Visa. He is a resident of Chester, New Jersey.
After the jury verdict was announced, Judge Mohammed revoked Father Lopez-Durango’s bail and set a sentencing date of November 18, 2016.
Luring a Child carries a maximum term of imprisonment of ten years in New Jersey State Prison; Endangering the Welfare of a Child carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years in New Jersey State Prison; and Criminal Sexual Contact carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 18-months in New Jersey State Prison