May 20, 2006

Owego Episcopal priest resigns amid allegations

Ithaca Journal

By William Moyer
Gannett News Service

OWEGO A former rector at St. Paul's Episcopal Church has resigned from the priesthood following a five-month investigation of sexual allegations against him.

Ralph E. Johnson, 79, voluntarily renounced his ministerial orders amid allegations that he sexually abused a boy in the 1970s while he was rector of St. Paul's, but he has not admitted guilt, said Bishop Gladstone B. Adams, of the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York.

The attorney for another former rector the Rev. David G. Bollinger said Johnson's resignation is vindication for his client.

David Gouldin, of Levene, Gouldin & Thompson of Vestal, said Bollinger in 2002 alerted Episcopal officials to Johnson's alleged sexual misconduct, but was rebuffed by the denomination's regional bishop.

Posted by kshaw at May 20, 2006 07:13 AM