Former Wisconsin priest sentenced in sexual abuse cases

| November 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

A former Wisconsin priest arrested last November in Minneapolis on charges filed in Wisconsin of sexual abuse of minors has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Thomas E. Ericksen, 72, formerly of Winter, Wisconsin, was ordained in 1973. He was suspended from priestly ministry in 1983 for alleged sexual misconduct with minors.

He was laicized by the Vatican in 1988 and left Wisconsin, reportedly traveling as far away as Indonesia, officials with the Diocese of Superior have said.

Ericksen was arrested in Minneapolis Nov. 19, 2018, on warrants issued in Sawyer County, Wisconsin, after volunteers at a Lutheran Church’s soup kitchen told police they were concerned about his behavior around young people.

He was sentenced Sept. 26 to 30 years in prison on one count of first-degree sexual assault of a child and 10 years on one count of second-degree assault of a child, with the two sentences to be served consecutively, according to the Sawyer County Record in Hayward, Wisconsin, which is in the Diocese of Superior.

Bishop James Powers of Superior issued a statement Nov. 8 about Ericksen, the Superior Catholic Herald reported, saying he is reviewing all clergy personnel files with the goal of releasing an abusive clergy list next year.

“First and foremost, we continue to grieve with the victims, and pray for their healing, and the healing of their families and friends,” the bishop said of the Ericksen case. “We also appreciate the work of the Sawyer County court system in their efforts to hold Mr. Ericksen accountable, and in allowing the victims’ voices to be heard.”

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Category: Local News