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A Newark priest, who previously admitted to fondling a boy, has been arrested by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for hearing confessions from children – some in
Rochelle Park and Paramus – during religious retreats.
The Rev. Michael Fugee, 52, was charged with seven counts of contempt of a judicial order. On May 20, 2013, members of the county’s Special Victims Unit arrested Fugee after they learned that he had disobeyed a judicial order signed on a July 16, 2007 by Superior Court Judge Donald Venezia and an accompanying memorandum of understanding between the Archdiocese of Newark, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and Fugee barring him from working with kids.
The investigation was initiated after information was received by detectives that Fugee was attending youth retreats as well as taking confessions from minor children. As a result of numerous interviews with individuals who had personal knowledge of and witnessed Fugee at the retreats taking confessions from children, the Prosecutor’s Office arrested him.
The investigation revealed that Michael Fugee heard confessions from children during the following times at the following locations:
3. October 2011 at a parishioner’s home in Bayville.
4. September 2012 at the Kateri Environmental Center, Wickatunk.
5. February 2012 at Sacred Heart Church, Rochelle Park.
6 March 2012 at Sacred Heart Church, Rochelle Park.
7. December 2012 at Our Lady of Visitation Parish, Paramus,
In 2001, Fugee admitted to fondling the genitals of a teenage boy who was wrestling with him.
This investigation is ongoing and anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Special Victims Unit at 201-226-5620.