Cleared priest describes ordeal

Sep 10, 2002 | All, Bruno Ugliano

Cleared of allegations he molested a 14-year-old girl two decades ago, a Roman Catholic priest says the two months he was suspended from his job as a Rider University chaplain – and presumed guilty by many – was a “living hell.”

Supportive calls, letters, and e-mails from relatives, friends, and students helped the Rev. Bruno Ugliano endure being kicked out of his campus house and having his reputation destroyed overnight after nearly 40 years of church service. He felt very alone, though, and the stress triggered high blood pressure, for which he is still being treated.

“All of a sudden I was a non-being,” Ugliano told The Times of Trenton for Monday’s editions. “My good name and everything else in my life were taken from me. I was left with nothing but my faith in God and my belief in my innocence.”

Still, Ugliano, 62, said he prays for his anonymous accuser. “Do I hate her? No. Am I angry? No. I feel sorry for her and I pray for her. I hope she finds peace in her life,” he told Rider students during a Mass on campus Sunday.

Prosecutors cleared Ugliano of the abuse allocations 2 1/2 weeks ago, and he returned to work last week. Investigators did not say why they dismissed the allegations, saying only that they were found not credible.

Cleared priest describes ordeal
The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
September 10, 2002