Rev. Michael Fugee Attended Youth Retreats, Heard Confessions

NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A once-accused pedophile priest in New Jersey has been arrested on charges that he violated a judicial order by having contact with young parish members.

The Rev. Michael Fugee, 52, was arrested at St. Antoninus Parish in Newark following an investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Fugee entered into an agreement with the prosecutor’s office to avoid retrial on the abuse conviction after a groping incident six years ago. The agreement required Fugee never again to have unsupervised contact with children under the age of 18.

But Fugee later ended up attending overnight teen retreats and hearing teens’ confessions at St. Mary’s Parish.

He allegedly had contact with minors on seven different occasions between April 2010 and December 2012, at the Claremont Retreat Center in Mt. Arlington, N.J.; the Kateri Environmental Center in Wickatunk, N.J.; the Sacred Heart Church in Rochelle Park, N.J.; Our Lady of Visitation Parish in Paramus, N.J., and a parishioner’s own home.

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Fugee was convicted in 2003 of criminal sexual contact involving a boy. It was overturned by an appeals court and the priest eventually entered a pretrial intervention program.

Following the revelations that he’d had contact with minors, Fugee, himself, resigned from his post. Two youth minsters at St. Mary’s also announced their resignation.

Bond for Fugee was set at $25,000 by Bergen County Judge Patrick Roma, prosecutors said. He was being held at the Bergen County Jail in lieu of bail, and was set to return to court at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

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