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Ex-Morris Priest Accused of Making Unwanted Sexual Advances

Rev. Phillip Briganti not in custody for alleged November incident; currently living in Texas.

A retired priest from Morris County has been charged with criminal sexual contact by local authorities but has not been taken into custody as he currently resides in Texas.

Morris County Acting Prosecutor Fredric Knapp announced today Reverend Phillip Briganti, 67, formerly of Randolph, was being charged with the fourth-degree crime for “acts involving an adult male.”

Briganti, living in El Paso, Texas, officiated a wedding at St. Paul’s Church in Prospect Park on Nov. 9, 2013, Knapp said. Following the wedding reception, Briganti was riding on a bus with the alleged victim en route to a hotel, Knapp said. It was then Briganti allegedly engaged in unwanted sexual contact with the victim. 

The victim notified the Diocese of Paterson, which then alerted authorities in Morris, Passai, and Bergen counties, Knapp said.

This isn’t Briganti’s first brush with an investigation. While acting as the reverend for St. Joseph Church in Mendham in 2005, Briganti resigned amid an extortion scandal, according to the Observer-Tribune.

Briganti was the victim in that incident, Mendham police said, when he was allegedly contacted three times via the Internet by someone trying to extort money from him, the report said.

St. Joseph Church in Mendham is home to a monument recognizing the victims of clergy sex abuse after parishioners there came forward publicly as victims in recent years. 

An investigation is ongoing and active, Knapp said, and authorities are asking anyone with information regarding the incident contact the Randolph Township Police Department at 973-989-7010, or the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-285-6200.

Jim Copeland February 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM
Question? How do Nuns get pregnant? Answer : They dress up like alter Boys !
BeachBum February 22, 2014 at 11:28 AM
Churches are so corrupt, its a cult - lock this scum up
Sir February 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM
Wait for the facts.
Jim Copeland February 22, 2014 at 12:17 PM
Beach Bum "Religion was invented when the first con-man met the first fool" Mark Twain
David Comora February 24, 2014 at 08:25 AM
@ Jim, can't seem to find any evidence that Mark Twain actually said that...seems to be a quote made up by a school teacher a few years ago and wrongly credited to Twain. Just thought that was interesting.
Jim Copeland February 24, 2014 at 09:35 AM
David Comora--- Got that one from a debate between The Late Christopher Hitchins and some moronic Anglican Priest on PBS A book by James A. Haught called 2000 years of disbelief where Mark Twain is even pictured on the Dust Jacket along with other heavy hitters such as Ben Franklin Thomas Jefferson Thomas Edison and about 75 other notable Atheists is really quite interesting You may be surprised who is there and just what they thought of Revealed Religion.Not Much for sure. Science flies you to the Moon Religion flies you into Buildings. I dont know who said that one but it sounds about right. Jim Copeland (Atheist)
David Comora February 24, 2014 at 10:50 AM
I do like your science quote...who said that? When I saw the Twain quote, I thought that was pretty daring, even for Twain...I figured that it might have been something a character in one of his stories said. I wasn't surprised to see that it seems to be wrongly attributed to him. Although I do understand that he was not a big fan of organized religion. There are some great quotes here that are still quite applicable today http://www.twainquotes.com/Religion.html
Social issues in Morristown Blog February 28, 2014 at 04:36 PM
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Oscar vasquez March 03, 2014 at 12:39 PM
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