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Another Day, Another Christian Charged with Child Rape Abuse

Saturday, February 20 2010 @ 09:23 PM CST

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Why are those educated in semen-aries and residing in rectum-ries preaching New Testes-ment such child abusers?

Another victim levels sex charges against former priest


Another man has come forward claiming a former Episcopal priest, already facing sex charges in Susquehanna County, also assaulted him in 2001.

Ralph Johnson, 82, Gibson Twp., faces new charges of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and corruption of minors.

The alleged Gibson-area victim, now 23, was 14 years old at the time. According to police, the man also has a mental disability.

Mr. Johnson has not yet been arraigned on the new charges, which were filed Friday.

Earlier this month, Mr. Johnson was charged on 45 sex-related counts, stemming from incidents alleged to have occurred with a Windsor, N.Y., boy from 1992-95 at his Church Road home in Gibson Twp.

The victim in that case, now 29, was between the ages of 11 and 15 during the period of the alleged abuse. The Times-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual abuse.

Mr. Johnson has been free on $50,000 unsecured bail on the first set of charges.

Mr. Johnson served in the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York and was the rector at St. Ann's, Afton, N.Y., at that time.

The former priest was deposed by Central New York Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams after allegations of misconduct surfaced against him in 2006 when he was serving at St. Paul's in Owego, N.Y.

Bishop Adams said, "We were never able to absolutely verify the allegations - no one came forward." However, the bishop said he received information he believed to be credible even though no victim came forward. "That is why we took those steps," said Bishop Adams.

A preliminary hearing on the earlier set of charges has been scheduled for March 9 in District Court, Clifford.

According to Bill Lewellis, communication minister of the Episcopal Church's Diocese of Bethlehem, Mr. Johnson has never been authorized to perform priestly service in the 14-county northeastern diocese, which includes the area where he currently resides in Susquehanna County.

While ordained, Mr. Johnson reportedly served in parishes in Buckingham, part of the Pennsylvania (or Greater Philadelphia) diocese; as well as at the Central New York Diocese churches of St. Ann's, Afton, N.Y.; Zion Church, Windsor, N.Y.; and St. Paul's, Owego, N.Y.

Mr. Johnson purchased his Gibson Twp. home in 1987. Before that, he owned property in Thompson Twp


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