PRINCETON — A Franciscan order has determined sexual misconduct allegations against a former Princeton University chaplain were "not credible."

Father Gabriel Zeis, also known as "Father Gabe," denied the incident, alleged to have taken place in 1975 at St. Francis Seminary in Pennsylvania before he was ordained as a priest. He was placed on leave in August and stepped down from his positions as chaplain and Diocesan Vicar for Catholic Education.

The Cambria County, Pennsylvania District Attorney's office investigated the allegation and in December questioned the credibility and accuracy of the allegations and closed the case, the Third Order Regular Franciscans said in a statement shared by the Diocese of Trenton. The DA's office has not yet returned a message from New Jersey 101.5 seeking comment or confirmation of that account.

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The Fransciscans utilized an independent investigator to look into the allegations per Canon law, the statement said. The results were presented to an independent review board composed entirely of lay people who are experts in youth protection, which agreed that the allegations were unfounded, the statement said.

Zeis was reinstated as a priest and "every effort is made to restore his good name and reputation" for his eventual return to a ministry.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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