Former Visitation Priest Indicted on Additional Sex Charges
Fr. Marukudiyil C. Velan, 64, indicted on seven counts
A Roman Catholic priest from Brick Township who was arrested in July 2012 on sex charges has been indicted on those allegations, as well as in two additional incidents – one of which includes a third victim.
The seven-count indictment against Fr. Marukudiyil C. Velan, 64, was handed up by an Ocean County grand jury Feb. 7, court records obained by Patch show.
Velan, who was known as "Father Chris" to parishioners at Visitation Roman Catholic Church on Mantoloking Road in Brick, where he last served, was arrested July 14, 2012 and charged with a single count of criminal sexual contact against an adult victim, and one count of criminal sexual contact plus one count of endangering the welfare of a child against a victim who was a minor.
At the time, County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said Velan, whose full name is Velanmarukudiyil J. Christudas, was arrested after a woman filed a report saying Velan came to her house and had "inappropriate contact" with her as well as her minor child.
The indictment contains additonal charges related to an allegation of criminal sexual contact that occurred in April 2012 with the same minor child, as well a charge of sexual assault against a second minor victim that allegedly occurred the same day as the original July 2012 allegation.
Velan was indicted on one count each of criminal sexual contact against a minor victim older than 13 but younger than 16, as well as a related charge of endangering the welfare of a child, stemming from the April 2012 incident.
He was also indicted on one count each of the same charges stemming from the July 2012 incident against the same victim.
Velan was indicted on a charge of second degree sexual assault against a child less than 13 years old, alleged to have occurred the same day as the other July 2012 incident. There was a related indictment on a child endangerment charge as well.
Finally, Velan was indicted on one count of criminal sexual contact on an adult victim in July 2012.
The victims were referred to by their initials only in the indictment. Patch has withheld those initials as well as the birth dates of the victims.
Court records show Velan remains free on $100,000 bail. No information was provided as to who posted his bail. The Diocese of Trenton said in a statement that it did not provide Velan's bail money.
Conditions of Velan's bail include having no contact with any victim or their family members, no contact with anyone under the age of 18 and the surrender of his passport. Velan is a native of India, the diocese said after the initial charges were filed in the summer.
Bishop David M. O’Connell has removed Velan of his faculties to minister in the Diocese of Trenton pending the outcome of the case, a diocesan spokesperson said.