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NJ priest in court flap agrees to leave priesthood


NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey priest who admitted violating a court order to refrain from unsupervised contact with minors has agreed to leave the priesthood.

Prosecutor John Molinelli of Bergen County said Friday that Michael Fugee has agreed to seek and obtain laicization from the Roman Catholic Church.

Fugee was convicted of third-degree aggravated criminal sexual contact in 2003 and sentenced to probation, though the conviction was later reversed. He eventually settled the criminal charges by agreeing to restrict his contact with minors.

Fugee later admitted that between 2010 and 2012, he violated those conditions by attending youth retreats and hearing confessions from minors.

On Friday, Molinelli criticized the Archdiocese of Newark for failing to properly monitor Fugee.

A spokesman for the archdiocese didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.