COLTS NECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Parents and teens at a Monmouth County Roman Catholic church were shocked Monday, after learning that a priest who attended overnight teen retreats was once accused of sexual abuse.
The Rev. Michael Fugee, a Newark Archdiocese priest, was convicted in 2003 of molesting a boy. The conviction was overturned by an appeals court, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.READ MORE: Passenger Killed, Driver Airlifted To Hospital In East Farmingdale Crash
But Fugee’s past was not known while he was attending overnight teen retreats, parents and teens at St. Mary’s Parish in Colts Neck said.
“I’m upset that I wasn’t told, and I’m upset that they’re lying about it,” said youth group member Samara Franklin.
Fugee, 52, entered into an agreement with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office to avoid retrial on the abuse conviction after the groping incident six years ago. The agreement required Fugee, 52, never again to have unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18.
Mark Crawford, director of the New Jersey chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Fugee violated the agreement.
“It’s incomprehensible to me, as a Catholic with children, that we would take someone who admitted to groping a child and put him back in the ministry,” Crawford said.