- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) - A former New Jersey priest has been convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and criminal sexual contact after authorities say he lured a 14-year-old girl to his living quarters and molested her.

A Passaic County jury also convicted Jose Lopez of luring Tuesday. They found him not guilty of attempted sexual assault.

Prosecutors say Lopez took the girl into his living quarters at St. Mary’s Assumption Church in Passaic in 2013 and touched her inappropriately.

Lopez has denied that he touched her sexually.

Defense attorney James Porfido says Lopez often hugged and kissed the girl near her mother. He says the interactions were never sexual.

Porfido says he’s shocked by the verdict.

Lopez faces up to 16 years in prison at his November sentencing.

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