A priest's collar.


New Jersey Priest Abuse Hotline Flooded With Calls

September 14, 2018 - 2:53 pm

TRENTON, N.J. (WCBS 880) -- A week after a special task force was created by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office to investigate allegation of sexual assault by priest, a hotline set up to allow victims to share their stories with investigators has been flooded with calls.

“I spoke with the attorney general just the other day, and he told me that they put on additional staff,” said state Sen. Joe Vitale (D-Woodbridge).

As WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron reported, Vitale said some of the calls take a long time. He has been pushing for years to eliminate the two year limit in New Jersey on civil lawsuits involving child sex abuse complaints against priests.

“This has given victims an opportunity to speak up and speak out, particularly if it’s rape and abuse that happened, you know, many years ago – or last year,” Vitale said.

The hotline is reachable at (855) 363-6548.

Earlier in the summer, a grand jury report last month said more than 1,000 children – possibly many more – were victimized by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania. The report accuses church leaders of hiding abuse for 70 years.

The Pennsylvania report has prompted other states, including New Jersey, to launch their own investigations.