|Rev. Thomas E. Ericksen
Summary of Case: A priest of the Superior, Wisconsin diocese, Ericksen was the subject of a lawsuit that settled in 1989, in which he was accused of sexually abusing four boys. He was said to have raped a 17-year-old boy and that boy's 8 to 9 year old cousin. Further, he was caught assaulting two boys in the rectory, one of whom was the younger cousin of the 17-year-old. Ericksen said in 2010 that he "just fondled and stuff like that," in regard to the three boys, but he denied involvement with a fourth boy. Ericksen was removed from the priesthood in 1988. He had moved to Minneapolis in 1983, then to Kansas City, MO in 2005, where he was still residing in July 2010. In July 2010 the Sawyer County, WI Police Department began a criminal investigation of the 1980s allegations. He was convicted in 2019 and sentenced in February 2020 to 30 years in prison. Reportedly in 2019, as many as 11 victims had come forward. A parole hearing was scheduled for April 2020.
Superior bishop was George Albert Hamms (1960-1985)
|1974||1201 Hughitt Ave.||Superior||WI||This was the address for the Superior diocese. Ericksen was not found listed under Chancery positions.|
|1974||1975||St. Mary's||Saynor||WI||This was a mission of St. Mary's in Bruce.|
|1974||1975||St. Rita's||Presque Isle||WI||This was a mission of St. Mary's in Bruce.|
|1975||1976||Cathedral of Christ the King||Superior||WI||Ericksen is indexed as at the Cathedral in the 1976 Directory, but is not listed as there in the Superior diocesan pages.|
|1976||1977||Absent on Sick Leave|
|1977||1978||St. Bridget's||River Falls||WI||3/3
|St. Bridget's had a school with 114 students.|
|1978||1979||St. Peter's||Eagle River||WI||2/2||St. Peter's had a school with 142 students.|
|1979||1982||Holy Cross Hospital||Merrill||WI||chaplain|
• Ericksen was accused in a 1980s lawsuit of having sexually abused an 8-9-year-old boy repeatedly during his time at St. Peter's, and for raping the boy's 17- year-old cousin. He is said to have been caught assaulting the younger boy along with another at the rectory the month after raping the 17-year-old.
|WI||1/1||In a 2010 newspaper interview Ericksen admitted that he "just fondled and stuff like that". He also said "[The diocese] knew I had problems and they still moved me around."|
Hamms was succeeded by Raphael Michael Fliss (1985-2007)
|1987||Absent on Sick Leave|
Ericksen moved to Minneapolis where he indicated on social networking sites that he worked in customer service for AT&T. He wrote also that he was a board member for "Lutherans Concerned", and a secretary/board member for the Sons of Norway.
Ericksen moved to Kansas City in 2005, where he became a Census worker and volunteered for the Special Olympics. He was suspended from involvement in the Special Olympics in July 2010, when the organization learned of the sexual abuse accusations against him from his time as a priest.
Former Superior bishop Fliss initially denied remembering in 2010 the allegations against Ericksen or the 1989 settlement.
In July 2010 the Sawyer County, WI Police Department agreed to criminally investigate claims that Ericksen sexually abused minors in the 1980s. Because Ericksen moved out of state, the clock stopped on the statute of limitations.
He "quietly" moved to Indonesia in 2010, returning to the U.S. in July 2013.
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1974-1987)
• Former Superior Diocese Priest Accused of Rape, By Brandon Stahl, Duluth News Tribune, June 30, 2010
in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's
place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest
listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor)
and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4
means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample
page from the Directory.