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Memorial Smasher is Spared a Prison Term

A New Jersey man who used a sledgehammer to destroy a monument to victims of clergy sexual abuse will not be going to prison.

Gordon Ellis was sentenced Friday to two years of probation and ordered to pay $7,500 restitution. The 39-year-old Mendham man had pleaded guilty last month to a downgraded charge of criminal mischief as a disorderly person offense.

Ellis, who authorities say has a history of psychiatric problems, destroyed the 400-pound millstone memorial outside St. Joseph Church in Mendham in November 2011. He has not said why he targeted the monument.

The monument was replaced but was then vandalized again in March 2013 and replaced again. No arrests have been made in the second incident.

 

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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