|Assignment Record – Rev. Michael Charles Fugee
Summary of Case: Michael Fugee was ordained a priest of the Newark archdiocese in 1994. He was accused in 2001 of having fondled a boy beginning when the boy was 13 years-old in 1999. Fugee admitted to police that he derived sexual gratification from the contact with the boy. He was placed on administrative leave and, in April 2003, was found guilty of aggravated sexual contact. Fugee was sentenced to a lifetime of parole and was ordered to register as a sex offender. In 2006 the conviction was overturned on appeal, due to prejudicial statements at the first trial and a problem with the judge's instructions to jurors. To avoid a retrial, Fugee signed an agreement that he would never again work unsupervised with children, and that he would undergo sex offender therapy. By 2009 Fugee was back in ministry, as a hospital chaplain very briefly - until hospital administrators learned of his past - and in parishes. He was also given chancery assignments. In April 2013 it came to light that Fugee had been assisting with overnight teen retreats at a Colt's Neck parish, including hearing teens' confessions. Parishioners expressed dismay at learning of his past conviction and agreement not to work with children. Fugee resigned from active ministry May 2, 2013. The Vatican announced his laicization in March 2014.
Newark archbishop was Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1986-2000).
|Dec. 1997||St. Rose of Lima||Short Hills||NJ||3/4, 2/4, 2/5, 3/3||St. Rose of Lima had a school with 250-298 students, and a religious education program with 450-484 students.|
McCarrick was succeeded by John Joseph Myers (2001-).
|March 2001||St. Elizabeth's||
• In March 2001, Fugee was accused of having fondled a 13 year-old boy, on several occasions, beginning in 1999. He was arrested and charged with one count of criminal sexual contact. Fugee had befriended the boy's mother. The abuse was said to have occurred in the boy's home in Wyckoff, and once in a Virginia hotel where Fugee and the mother and boy were staying on a vacation. The boys said that Fugee would grab his crotch while the two were wrestling. Fugee told detectives that he "derived sexual gratification" from the encounters.
Fugee counseled couples in a pre-marriage program, worked with a seniors group, and represented the church at the Wyckoff Clergy Association. He also helped lead the parishes youth group program for grades, 1-5 called "Gather the Children", and taught religious education.
|St. Elizabeth's had a school with 301-304 students, and a religious education program with 1,000 students.|
Fugee is not indexed in the 2002-2009 Directories. Per news reports he was on administrative leave.
Fugee's conviction was overturned and he was granted a new trial in 2006 after a panel of judges ruled that Fugee's statement to police after his arrest that he questioned his sexual identity were prejudicial, and should not have been heard by a jury. In exchange for avoiding a retrial, Fugee signed an agreement that he would never again work with children, and that he would undergo two years of sex offender therapy.
|Sept. 8, 2009||Oct. 14, 2009||St. Michael's Medical Center||Newark||NJ||chaplain||The archdiocese removed Fugee from this assignment a week after hospital officials learned of his history.|
|2009||2011||St. Antoninus||Newark||NJ||3/3 In residence.||St. Antoninus had a religious education program with 16 students.|
|2010||May 2013||Propagation of the Faith
|2010||May 2013||Society of St. Peter the Apostle||Newark||NJ|
|2010||May 2013||Holy Childhood Association||Newark||NJ|
|2010||May 2013||Missionary Union of Priests & Religious||Newark||NJ|
|Nov. 2012||May 2013||Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests||Newark||NJ|
|May 2013||Sacred Heart||Rochelle Park||NJ||In residence.||Fugee resigned from active ministry May 2, 2013, after it became known to the public that he had violated the agreement to never again work with children. There were also calls for Archbishop Meyers to resign.|
|May 2013||St. Mary's||Colt's Neck||NJ||Fugee attended overnight retreats for teens and heard teens' confessions at St. Mary's.||
After learning of his history, St. Mary's parishioners and others expressed outrage that Fugee was allowed to minister to parish teens. After Fugee's May 3, 2013 resignation, the pastor of St. Mary's Rev. Thomas Triggs, and the parish's youth ministers, Michael and Amy Lenehan, either resigned or were forced out.
The Vatican announced Fugee's laicization in March 2014.
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1995-2011)
• Wyckoff Priest Faces Sex Charge, Fondling incidents Alleged by Teenager, By Elise Young, The Record [Bergen County NJ], March 21, 2001