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Former Priest-Turned-Bookstore Owner From Asbury Park Charged With Having Sex With Teen

Scott Asalone
Scott Asalone Photo Credit: VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL's OFFICE

Authorities in Virginia charged a former priest and current independent bookstore co-owner from Asbury Park with having sex with a minor.

Scott Asalone, 63, was arrested in Asbury Park this past weekend by Virginia State Police and New Jersey law enforcement officers, authorities said.

Asalone -- an author, speaker and poet who's also worked as a consultant for private and non-profit groups -- has co-owned a bookstore on Cookman Avenue for more than a decade.

He was being held pending extradition proceedings.

A grand jury in Virginia indicted Asalone three days earlier on what is known there as "carnal knowledge of a minor" between 13 and 15 years old.

The allegation involves a former parishioner in 1985 while Asalone was a member of the clergy assigned to St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Purcellville, Va, Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring said.

The Capuchin Order removed Asalone in January 1993 and advised the Diocese of Arlington that an allegation had been made against him, the Catholic Herald reported.

The Capuchins dismissed him from the order in 2007.

"This is the first criminal indictment stemming from our ongoing investigation with Virginia State Police into potential clergy abuse," Herring said.

The investigation was continuing, the attorney general said, adding that "if anyone has information related to this case or any other instance of abuse, I would encourage them to please contact us as soon as possible."

He asked that anyone with information relating to the case contact the Virginia Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064 or www.VirginiaClergyHotline.com.

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