MENDHAM - Police say a man wielding a sledgehammer destroyed a memorial at a Roman Catholic church in Mendham that was dedicated to the victims of child sexual abuse.
Authorities say Gordon Ellis attacked the 400-pound monument outside St. Joseph's Church on Friday night. The 37-year-old is charged with defacement of private property, desecration of a venerated object and criminal mischief.
The memorial was dedicated in 2004 near the rectory that was home to a priest who was defrocked and admitted molesting about a dozen children at St. Joseph's and other parishes.
Patrick Kelly, a victim of sex abuse tells News 12 New Jersey that the monument was built on the grounds where the abuse occurred and it helped him deal with his pain. Kelly says he wants the monument rebuilt.AP wire services contribute to this report.