SAWYER COUNTY -- A former Wisconsin priest, charged with sexually assaulting altar boys in the 1980’s has been sentenced in Sawyer County Circuit Court.
Charges of sexual assault of a child were filed in November 2018 against Thomas Erickson, a former Wisconsin priest. DrydenWire.com reported that during an interview with investigators the former Wisconsin priest recalled fondling multiple boys while at St. Peter’s in Winter, WI as well as at other parishes throughout Wisconsin, including Rice Lake, WI and Rhinelander, WI according to criminal complaints filed against Erickson.
The male victims were under the ages of 16 and 12 at the time of the assaults in the years 1982 and 1983. Erickson was a “surrogate father” to the victims, and would take them to sporting events, movies or out to eat and also spend time with them alone at the rectory which is where the assaults occurred.
Erickson was charged with Class B Felony 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child, Class C Felony 2nd Degree Sexual Assault-Against Child, and and two counts of Class C Felony 2nd Degree Sexual Assault/Unconscious Victim. Online circuit court records show that at a hearing in June 2019 Erickson entered a plea of No Contest to the charges of Class B Felony 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child, Class C Felony 2nd Degree Sexual Assault-Against Child. The remaining charges were dismissed but read-in.
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On September 26, 2019, Erickson at a hearing in Sawyer County Circuit Court Erickson was sentenced to serve an indeterminate sentence of 20 years for his conviction of Class B Felony 1st Degree Sexual Assault of a Child. For his conviction of Class C Felony 2nd Degree Sexual Assault-Against Child, the Court ordered an indeterminate sentence of 10 years. The Court ordered that Erickson shall serve his sentences consecutively. Erickson will also be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.
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