The social worker who surrendered his license amid allegations he fondled a client is also a pastor at Methodist churches in Neptune and Neptune City.
Officials with the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey confirmed that Cheong “Alec” Park of Neptune, whom Jersey City police arrested in August, is a pastor at Neptune City’s Memorial United Methodist Church and West Grove United Methodist Church in Neptune.
Park, 49, is facing a charge of criminal sexual contact after an incident with a female client in July, the Office of the Attorney General announced Friday. He surrendered his license to practice social work under a consent agreement with the state Board of Social Work Examiners.
“Allegations of this nature are serious. As United Methodists, we believe that disrespectful and abusive sexual expressions are not acceptable Christian behavior and are destructive to individuals and families,” Carolyn Conover, director of communication and development with the United Methodist Church of Greater New Jersey, wrote in a prepared statement.
Park “had engaged in physical contact with the woman during prior sessions by hugging and massaging her face, neck and shoulders and upper chest, telling her it was ‘relaxation therapy,'” according to the Attorney General’s announcement. “During the session in question, after the victim had shared that she had difficulty setting boundaries, Park allegedly proceeded to massage her chest and breasts inside her bra.”
Under the terms of a consent order, Park is forbidden from doing social work, drug or alcohol counseling or mental health therapy or counseling, including “volunteer practice, life coaching, internet counseling” or any other form of practice, according to the Attorney General’s announcement.