Clergy Abuse

By Crocker Stephenson
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jul 9. 2008

Where is Brother David J. Nickerson, the man accused by authorities of raping a Milwaukee altar boy in the 1980s?

Robertsville, Missouri.

Nickerson is a resident of Recon, a religious facility near St. Louis which, among other things, treats troubled clergy.

And who is picking up the tab?

Little Brothers of the Good Shepherd, a Roman Catholic pontifical institute of religious brothers whose members profess the canonical, public vows of chastity, poverty and obedience.

Nickerson, according to Brother Justin Howson, the administrative head of the BGS community, was not a member of the congregation when the alleged assault occurred in Milwaukee.

Nickerson joined BGS in 1964, left BGS in 1966, returned in 1991 and was in the process of joining a different community when the sex abuse allegations broke. The new community decided it would be better off without Nickerson, and so he ended up, by default, becoming the BGS's responsibility.

"When we learned about the arrest and allegations we immediately took steps to ensure Nickerson was kept under close supervision and isolated from the community we serve and the public at large," Howson said in a statement released today.

So, the question remains: What religious community, if any, was "Brother David" affiliated with when he was here in Milwaukee?

Don't know.

Here's what Julie Wolfe, a spokeswoman for Archdiocese of Milwaukee had to say:

"Brother Nickerson is not a member of any recognized religious order and certainly does not have any connection to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee."


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