Fr. James Selvaraj – Diocese of Trenton

Father James Selvaraj

Diocese of Trenton

Fr. James Selvaraj Horowitz Law

Arrived in Trenton: 1998

Removed of Priestly Faculties: 2005

Assigned in Diocese of Trenton as follows:

  • 1998 – 2005 St. Raphael-Holy Angels (Hamilton, New Jersey)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father James Selvaraj:

Father James Selvaraj transferred from an Indian Diocese to gain experience from the Diocese of Trenton in 1998. In 2005 Selvaraj was accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl at St. Raphael in Hamilton.

Immediately after the allegation came out the Diocese of Trenton removed Selvaraj from his priestly duties and attempted to force Selvaraj to return to India. According to the Diocese, the church officials repeatedly warned Selvaraj of his “overly friendly personality” prior to the allegation being made.

While prosecutors initially charged Selvaraj with a third degree felony, in 2006, a grand jury reviewed and ultimately dismissed the charges.  

Selvaraj has denied any wrongdoing, and called the motives of the alleged victim’s mother into question.

Selvaraj refused to return to India, having become a U.S. citizen by that point, and he appealed his removal from ministry to the Holy See.   In 2012, Vatican officials denied his request to return to ministry as the Diocese of Trenton followed proper internal Church protocol in his removal. The Diocese no longer pays Selvaraj a salary. However, they still pay for his health and car insurance. According to a local news publication, a small group of parishioners gathered to raise money to sustain Selvaraj’s living expenses.

Selvaraj’s name does not appear on the Diocese of Trenton’s list of credibly accused priests, published in February 2019.

Selvaraj’s current location is unknown.  He was last believed to be residing in New Jersey, though without faculties to minister as a priest.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Trenton. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in New Jersey, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Trenton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.