Green Bay ex-priest sent to jail for having unapproved contact with children


February 28, 2019

A former Green Bay priest who was convicted of exposing his genitals to a child has been sent to jail for violating probation.

Documents obtained by Action 2 News detail recent allegations against Richard Thomas, 81.

Once of the documents is a letter sent by the Department of Corrections to Judge Timothy A. Hinkfuss. The letter states that Thomas had violated rules of supervision by having unapproved verbal and physical contact with children.

In 2016, Thomas was sentenced to 36 months on supervision after he was found guilty of two counts of Exposing Genitals/Pubic Area/Intimate Parts to a Child. Thomas had exposed himself to a teenager while living at Grellinger Hall, a residence for retired priests.

Conditions of probation include lifetime registry on the Wisconsin Sex Offender list and no contact with minors unless approved by a parole agent.

Thomas has been living in the community since Feb. 24, 2017. In the letter to Judge Hinkfuss, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections says it was reported that Thomas had been “intentionally seeking out minors” at Green Bay’s Bay Motel and Family Restaurant to “engage them in conversation.”

Thomas was asking the children about where they go to school and what grade they are in. He reportedly asked one child what city he lived in.

The DOC says Thomas admitted to having physical contact with a boy, “placing his hand on this minor’s shoulder making him feel uncomfortable.”

Thomas also admitted to telling an underage girl that he thought she was attractive “and if he was her age he would date her.”

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