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Passaic Priest Convicted Of Luring, Kissing, Sexually Touching Girl, 14

Jose Lopez-Durango
Jose Lopez-Durango Photo Credit: COURTESY: Passaic County Prosecutor's Office

PATERSON, N.J. -- A jury in Paterson convicted a Passaic priest on Tuesday of luring a 14-year-old girl to his rectory quarters, kissing her and trying to have sexual contact with her.

Fr. Jose Lopez-Durango, a 37-year-old Colombian native who was assigned to St. Mary’s Assumption Church, was convicted of luring, criminal sexual contact, and child endangerment.

The jurors cleared him of attempted sexual assault charges.

Lopez-Durango, who is also affiliated with St. Nicholas Church in Passaic, was arrested on July 25, 2013.

Authoriities charged that in January of that year, he lured the girl to his private quarters, "put the victim on his lap, kissed her and began to engage in sexual contact with her," Passaic County First Assistant Prosecutor Neil J. Cleary said.

Durango has been living in Chester, N.J., on a religious worker's visa.

His bail was revoked and sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 18.

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