Wyckoff Priest Accused of Sex Abuse Defrocked
By Jessica Mazzola
March 18, 2014
After 20 years as a priest, Michael Fugee has been officially returned to lay status, report says.
Former Wyckoff Priest Michael Fugee, who admitted to sexually abusing a township teenage boy in 2001, has been defrocked, NorthJersey.com reported. According to the report, an archdiocese spokesperson said Monday that the Vatican has returned Fugee to a lay state. He had been a priest for 20 years, it said.
After admitting to the sexual abuse over a decade ago, Fugee was back in court last year after authorities found out he had been attending youth retreats and hearing children’s confessions, reports said. He was charged with violating a court-ordered ban on ministering to minors last May, reports said.
Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli and other law enforcement officials criticized the Archdiocese of Newark at the time, saying it did not properly monitor Fugee when the agreement was in place.
According to NorthJersey.com, Fugee entered into a plea deal with the county to have the charges dropped. The deal included a requirement that Fugee submit a request to the Vatican that he be defrocked.
The process was likely expedited because it was voluntary and part of a court order, the report said.