Man accused of sexually abusing young boys was arrested Saturday | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Man accused of sexually abusing young boys was arrested Saturday

Posted: August 6, 2012 - 11:19pm

Thomas Richard Erickson, accused last year of allegedly sexually abusing young boys over the past several decades at his Nisswa home, was again arrested Saturday by Brainerd police for violating the conditions of his release.

Erickson, 69, charged Aug. 26, 2011, with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, was arrested after a report at 10:10 p.m. of suspicious activity in the parking lot on the south side of the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds on Thiesse Road, the last night of the Crow Wing County Fair. Erickson had been free on bail following the 2011 charges.

In the Brainerd police report, it was reported that a subject, Erickson, left the fairgrounds in a white Ford Ranger with a blue topper on 13th Street, where he was stopped and arrested.

Brainerd police would not report which condition Erickson violated, but did say that Erickson was expected to appear in Crow Wing County District Court Tuesday.

After the charges were filed against Erickson, he posted $150,000 bail and conditions of his release included no contact with persons under age 18; no contact with victims; no alcohol/controlled substance use; remain law-abiding; and do not enter bars or liquor store.

In the criminal complaint filed against Erickson, four victims stated Erickson had inappropriate and sexual contact on numerous occasions with them over the course of several years at his Nisswa home. The ages of the victims at the time of the assaults ranged from 6-14 years old. Victims said Erickson often had boys staying at his house because he had fun things for the boys to do — drive cars, shoot BB guns and play in tree forts.

The first victim went to police in August of 2011 after seeing Erickson walking with three young boys near Erickson’s home that month and he felt Erickson was still sexually assaulting young boys. A second victim also said he saw Erickson with young boys in the area a few days later and believed Erickson was still sexually assaulting young boys today.

In the search warrant obtained by investigators, hundreds of photos were found in Erickson’s bedroom of children without clothing on their upper body and sleeping in bed but no naked photos of children were located. Investigators believed pornographic photos may be hidden elsewhere in Erickson’s residence or on his property.

It also was noted in the search warrant that Erickson was a Boy Scout and church youth group leader in Nisswa and Erickson said his work with the Boys Scouts and his church ended in 1994.

After the story broke, Erickson told the Dispatch in an interview that some of the charges against him may be true but are not as bad as court records state in the case. Erickson estimated he had sexual contact with about 10 boys altogether and that he was sexually attracted to children.

Erickson’s contested omnibus hearing that was scheduled in April was reset for Aug. 21.

JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at jennifer.stockinger@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5851. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl.