A Mendham, NJ man pleaded guilty to vandalizing a local church monument to victims of clergy sexual abuse.
39-year-old Gordon Ellis admitted in court to wrecking the monument in November 2011. He said that he used a sledgehammer to destroy the memorial, which had been erected outside St. Joseph Church in Mendham, New Jersey.
Ellis told the court that he has “no excuse” for his actions.
After pleading guilty to a reduced charge of criminal mischief as a disorderly persons offense, Ellis was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $7,500 in restitution to the St. Joseph Church.
In delivering the sentence, Morris County Superior Court Judge Mary Gibbons Whipple noted that Ellis has a history of mental illness. As a result, Ellis will be required to undergo mental health supervision and receive counseling through the Morris County probation department.
The monument was erected in 2003 and dedicated in 2004 to children who suffered sexual abuse at St. Joseph’s Church.
Although the church monument was replaced after the incident involving Ellis, it was destroyed again in March 2013. It has since been replaced again.
For more information, see the NJ.com article entitled “Man Gets Probation for Destroying Mendham Church Monument to Clergy Sex Abuse Victims.“