Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

NJ Priest Defrocked After Violating Court Order

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    Michael Fugee appears before Judge Patrick Roma Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Hackensack.

    A New Jersey man has been officially removed from the priesthood after admitting he violated a court order against unsupervised contact with minors.

    Michael Fugee, 53, had agreed in November to seek laicization from the Roman Catholic Church to resolve charges by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office.

    The Archdiocese of Newark tells The Star-Ledger on Monday that the Vatican recently completed the process of removing Fugee from the priesthood.

    Prosecutors said Fugee traveled with a Colts Neck church group and heard confession despite a ban tied to an earlier case.

    In that case, a jury convicted Fugee of aggravated criminal assault involving a teenager. The conviction was thrown out after courts revised jury instructions tied to the case and prosecutors agreed to the restrictions rather than retry him.