January 07, 2006

Priest accused of abusing Central Florida boy resigns

Orlando Sentinel

Christopher Sherman | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted January 7, 2006

A Roman Catholic priest accused of abusing a Central Florida boy during the late 1980s and early 1990s has resigned from his Indiana parish.

The Rev. Richard Emerson resigned from Notre Dame Parish in Michigan City, the Rev. Brian Chadwick, spokesman for the Diocese of Gary, Ind., said Thursday. The news was also delivered to diocesan priests through a letter from Bishop Dale J. Melczek.

The Diocese of Gary placed Emerson on administrative leave in December 2004 after a local man accused him of sexual abuse. Emerson had served at three Central Florida churches between 1987 and 1991. Orlando police determined that the time frame of the alleged abuse exceeded the statute of limitations.

In January 2005, the man filed a civil lawsuit against Emerson and the Orlando diocese. A month later, Emerson denied the allegations through an attorney.

Posted by kshaw at January 7, 2006 08:34 AM