Former priest dies 2 years after being defrocked over child molesting allegations
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Charles Eckermann, a defrocked Catholic priest and former Syracuse school board president, has died.
Eckermann, 85, died Friday at St. Joseph's Hosptial, according to Danielle Cummings, spokeswoman for the Syracuse Catholic Diocese. His family arranged the funeral, which was held today, Cummings said.
The diocese removed Eckermann from the ministry in 2014 after determining recently disclosed accusations from former altar boy Kevin Braney to be credible.
Braney said Eckermann raped him more than a dozen times in a basement storage room in the rectory at St. Ann's Church in Manlius in 1988 and 1989, when Braney was 15 and 16 years old.
Eckermann was a member of the Syracuse school district's board of education, including a term as president until 1984, according to newspaper archives. He was a teacher at Bishop Ludden High School from 1963 to 1976.
Eckermann was Ludden's principal from 1970 to 1976 before leaving to become pastor at St. John the Baptist Church in Syracuse.
He returned to Ludden in 1984 and was principal again for just a day before then-Bishop Frank Harrison rescinded the appointment. Harrison removed Eckermann after Syracuse police raised concerns about him, two former officers revealed two years ago.
Eckermann was an associate pastor at St. Brigid and St. Joseph parish from 1957 to 1963, according to newspaper archives. He was also pastor of St. John the Baptist parish in Syracuse and St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Binghamton.
Eckermann started as pastor at St. Ann's in May 1988. He had been the diocese's director of development and planning for two years before that.
Pope Paul VI designated Eckermann a monsignor in 1973. He retired in 2001.
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