Merrill police investigate two more claims of abuse by former Catholic priest

Wausau Daily Herald

January 29, 2019

By Laura Schulte

Police in Merrill are investigating at least two more sexual assault allegations against a former Wisconsin priest who already has been charged with molesting four young males in Sawyer County.

The latest complaints stem from the former Rev. Thomas Ericksen’s time at St. Robert’s Catholic Church in Merrill in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Merrill Police Chief Corey confirmed his department is investigating cases involving Ericksen but declined to comment on the nature of the offenses.

Ericksen, 71, is being held in the Sawyer County Jail in Hayward on a $510,000 cash bond while facing charges that he sexually assaulted boys while he was stationed in the town of Winter in the early 1980s.

The Catholic Diocese of Superior transferred Ericksen from Merrill to St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Winter in July 1982, according to Wausau Daily Herald archives. He’s facing one count of first-degree sexual assault of a child, one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child and two counts of second-degree sexual assault of an unconscious victim. He was arrested in Minneapolis on Nov. 16 and extradited to Hayward, the county seat of Sawyer County, on Nov. 30.

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