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Former St. Martha’s Pastor to Serve Three Years, Register as Sex Offender

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Rev. Román Nilo S. Apura, accused in a sex act with a teen. (Mugshot Photo: Mercer County Jail)
Rev. Román Nilo S. Apura, accused in a sex act with a teen. (Mugshot Photo: Mercer County Jail)

The former pastor of St. Martha Parish in Point Pleasant Borough has been sentenced to serve three years at a state-run treatment center for sex offenders, and must register under Meghan’s Law once he is released.

Rev. Román Nilo S. Apura, 68, was sentenced last Friday in Mercer County, where he was accused of engaging in sexual contact with a 16-year-old male victim in a home in Trenton during the late spring or early summer period of 2014. A second incident occurred in June 2014 when Apura attempted to remove the same victim’s pants. The diocese forwarded a complaint it had received to prosecutors.

He was arrested in August 2014 at his Herbertsville Road home near St. Martha’s.

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Apura was sentenced to three years at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, a facility which is operated by the state Department of Corrections, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office. After he completes his sentence, Apura will be required to register as a sex offender under Meghan’s Law.

Apura pleaded guilty in August to a charge of aggravated criminal sexual contact, prosecutors said. After his plea, doctors at Avenel found Apura “repetitive and compulsive” during an evaluation, the Times of Trenton reported.

After his arrest Bishop David M. O’Connell suspended Apura, prohibiting him from celebrating Mass, wearing priestly garb, or presenting himself as a priest.

According to The Monitor, the newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton, Apura became pastor in July 2012. He had previously served as parochial vicar at St. Mary Cathedral, Trenton, and St. Maximilian Kolbe in Toms River, as well as a number of parishes in northern Monmouth County.