Victim’s advocate questions initial reinstatement of priest in alleged Wyckoff child abuse case

The Record

Tuesday April 30, 2013, 9:30 PM

The Record

After the Rev. Michael Fugee finished serving probation on allegations that he groped a teenage boy on several occasions at his Wyckoff home more than a decade ago, a review board of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Newark examined his case.

Despite an initial — later recanted — confession by Fugee and trial testimony from the boy, the review board found that no sexual abuse occurred. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome confirmed those findings.

And so, in late 2009, based on that conclusion, Archbishop John J. Myers returned Fugee to the ministry.

On Tuesday, victims’ advocates pointed to that action as the one that enabled Fugee to become involved in a new controversy: He attended several youth group retreats with a Monmouth County parish — even though he had signed an agreement with prosecutors that explicitly forbade his involvement with youth for as long he continued being a priest.

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