MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A former priest with several allegations of sexual abuse beginning in the 1980s was arrested Friday on sexual assault charges.

The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office says Thomas E. Ericksen, 71, was charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child, second-degree sexual assault against a child and second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim. These three charges stem from complaints reported between June of 1982 to September of 1983.

Ericksen, formerly of Winter, Wisconsin, and priest for the Diocese of Superior, Wisconsin, was arrested at his home in Minneapolis. He was taken into custody and is currently awaiting transport the Sawyer County Jail.

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis released the following information about Eriksen in 2014:

Ericksen is a former priest of another diocese who is alleged to have committed acts of sexual abuse of a minor outside of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. This archdiocese is not aware of any substantiated claim of sexual abuse of a minor asserted against Ericksen relating to any conduct that occurred in this archdiocese. To the archdiocese’s knowledge, Ericksen never ministered or held any assignment within the Archdiocese. Ericksen’s name has nevertheless been added to the archdiocese’s disclosure list in the interest of full transparency, to champion the Child Protection Protocols first announced to the public on October 13, 2014 and to aid in healing for survivors who may reside in the archdiocese.

He was removed from the priesthood in 1988.

Comments (2)
  1. Judy Block-Jones says:

    Hopefully anyone who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Thomas E. Ericksen will find the courage to come forward and contact law enforcement, no matter how long ago it happened.
    Keep in mind that silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

    Judy Jones, SNAP “Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests” 636-433-2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com