Priest charged with violating ban on ministry to children freed on bail


Priest charged with violating ban on ministry to children freed on bail

By Mark Mueller/The Star-Ledger
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on May 22, 2013 at 8:04 PM, updated May 24, 2013 at 7:15 PM

From the link: http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/05/priest_charged_with_violating.html

The Rev. Michael Fugee listens in court Tuesday as a prosecutor reads the charges against him.John O'Boyle/The Star-Ledger

The Rev. Michael Fugee listens in court Tuesday as a prosecutor reads the charges against him.John O’Boyle/The Star-Ledger

The Roman Catholic priest charged with violating a ban on ministry to children was released from jail late Tuesday, less than 12 hours after making his first appearance in a Bergen County courtroom.

The Rev. Michael Fugee, 52, walked out of the Bergen County Jail in Hackensack sometime after 7 p.m. A spokesman for the county sheriff’s department, which oversees the jail, declined to say who posted Fugee’s bail, which had been set at $25,000 with a 10 percent cash option.

The Archdiocese of Newark, to which Fugee is assigned, did not secure the priest’s release, said Jim Goodness, a spokesman for Archbishop John J. Myers. Goodness would not say whether Fugee was returned to a parish or other housing owned by the archdiocese.

Fugee was required to surrender his passport as a condition of the release.

Investigators with the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office arrested Fugee at a parish in Newark Monday night, charging him with seven counts of contempt of a judicial order for interacting with children despite the ban.

The restriction grew out of a 2007 agreement Fugee signed with the prosecutor’s office to avoid retrial on charges that he groped a 13-year-old boy.

Following a Star-Ledger report on the priest’s continued contact with children and teens, authorities found he gave confessions to minors at youth retreats and a private home outside the archdiocese and at two parishes inside the archdiocese, which includes Bergen, Hudson, Union and Essex counties.

Fugee’s lawyer, Michael D’Alessio, did not return calls seeking comment.

D’Alessio, who represented Fugee when he signed the agreement, told the Record newspaper the priest did not violate the terms because Fugee was under the supervision of other adults when he was with children, the same defense initially mounted by the archdiocese.

Goodness, Myers’ spokesman, later reversed that position, saying that while Fugee did violate the agreement, he did so without the archbishop’s knowledge.

“Father Fugee is not guilty of this offense,” D’Alessio told the Record.

The lawyer added that prosecutors, to win a conviction, would have to prove in court the priest “knowingly and purposefully” flouted the agreement.

“If there are other adults in the room, other adults in the vicinity, he was never in a position where he could not be observed,” D’Alessio said. “That’s the key to this, and that’s the key to what he thought.”

About victimsofrapebythercc

The Catechism offers a clear moral teaching: "Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them." (no. 2356) Note that rape is "an intrinsically evil act," meaning that it is evil at its very root, nothing justifies it, and it is objectively a mortal sin. An evil act was done against me, a crime, by a priest at St Thomas More Parish in Durham, NH. An evil and a crime I will no longer keep silent about. Those who perpetrate crimes against children, especially those of the Roman Catholic Church, should all be punished for their crimes against children. Anything less would be criminal.

Posted on July 21, 2013, in Archbishop John J. Myers, Archdiocese of Newark, Bill Donohue, Catholic League, Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, Child Sex Abuse, Clergy Abuse, Clergy Sex Abuse, Pope Benedict, Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis I, Pope John Paul II, Pope Paul VI, Priest Child Sex Abuse, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Roman Catholic Church Sex Abuse, Vatican, William Lynch and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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