Father Michael Fugee
Archdiocese of Newark
Resigned from ministry: 2013
Assigned as Follows:
- St. Antoninus Catholic Church (Newark, NJ)
- Sacred Heart Church (Rochelle Park, NJ)
- Chaplain at St. Michael Medical Center (Newark, NJ)
- St. Elizabeth Church (Wyckoff, NJ)
- St. Rose of Lima (Short Hills, NJ)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Michael Fugee:
Father Michael Fugee was ordained a priest in 1994 and served in the Archdiocese of Newark. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to media reports, in March of 2001, Father Fugee was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy. The victim said the abuse started in 1999 and lasted several years. Some incidents occurred in his own home. Father Fugee befriended the victim’s mother and he was left alone with the boy several times.
In 2001, Fugee was arrested and charged with one count of criminal sexual contact. Fugee admitted to the charges when interviewed by police and, according to media reports, “then made some unusual comments about his sexuality, being a compulsive masturbator. He also stated he was bisexual, and that he was a virgin. He also said that he was infatuated with crotches or penis size.”
After being placed on administrative leave from the Archdiocese of Newark, he was found guilty of the charges and was sentenced to lifetime of probation supervision. He was also ordered to be registered as a sex offender.
Fugee’s conviction was overturned and he was granted a new trial in 2006. In a new plea deal, Fugee signed an agreement that he would never work with children again and he would undergo two years of sex offender therapy.
However, the Archdiocese of Newark’s internal review board determined that the allegations against Fugee were not credible, despite his admissions to police, and recommended to Archbishop John Myers that Fugee be returned to ministry. In a deposition taken by Horowitz Law attorneys in another matter, Archbishop Myers testified that Fugee’s confession to police was “unfortunate” because he admitted to molesting the boy without first consulting with an attorney. Apparently, this also ruled it inconsequential to the Archdiocese of Newark.
After completing his court-ordered therapy, Michael Fugee was assigned by the Archdiocese of Newark as the Chaplain at St. Michael’s Medical Center in Newark. A week after hospital officials learned about his past, the Archdiocese of Newark moved him to a new assignment.
Several years later in 2013, which only speaks to the total lack of supervision of Fugee, it was discovered that he was helping out with overnight retreats for teenagers. In response to the public outcry, Fugee resigned from active ministry and petitioned the Vatican for removal from the priesthood.
The Vatican announced Fugee’s laicization in March of 2014.
Fugee is believed to be residing in the Rahway area. Under the terms of his second, post-appellate plea agreement, he is not required to register as a sex offender. Fugee is 57 years old.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused in the Archdiocese of Newark, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Newark now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New Jersey and nationwide. We can help.