October 05, 2005

Church knew of priest's past: Sexual misconduct accusations surfaced after attending school in Winona, before Hudson funeral home murders

Winona Daily News

By Robert Imrie / The Associated Press

HUDSON, Wis. Catholic officials were informed years ago of allegations of sexual misconduct by a priest who is believed to have killed two people to keep his behavior secret and then committed suicide, court records suggest.

The Catholic Diocese of Superior learned of sexual misconduct allegations against Ryan Erickson in 1994 and 1996 while he was attending seminary before he was ordained a priest, according to the records.

The records also show a prosecutor decided not to file charges against Erickson in 1994, and the church had him undergo several mental health exams.

Prosecutors submitted a general outline of Erickson's life to St. Croix Circuit Judge Eric Lundell during a so-called John Doe hearing Monday for him to consider as evidence in the 2002 deaths of two funeral home workers in Hudson.

Posted by kshaw at October 5, 2005 09:37 AM