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Pastor Arrested for Molestation

Gibson. PA -- Another allegation against a retired priest from Susquehanna county.

This time, he's accused of molesting a minor at his home in Gibson nearly 20 years ago.

Father Ralph Elwood Johnson was arrested Friday at State Police Barracks in Gibson.

The 82-year old is charged with 15 counts each of Involuntary Deviate Sexual intercourse, Indecent Assault, and Corruption of a Minor.

But this is not the first accusation of molestation.

Over the years, 2 other victims have come forward claiming they too were abused by the Episcopal Priest.

Johnson is accused of having sex with a teenage boy nearly 20 years ago.

He lives on Church Street in Gibson.

The now 29-year old victim says he was 11 when Johnson first forced sexual relations with him at his home in 1992.

And says it continued until 1995.

One of Johnson's neighbors says he's shocked at the allegation.

"I'm really surprised. I really am. This is the first time I've ever heard anything. Like I said, he's been a pretty decent neighbor," said Rudy Testa of Gibson.

In 2006, Johnson resigned from St. Paul's Church in Owego following a 5 month investigation into an allegation he molested a then 15-year old boy in the 70's.

A week later, a man from Montrose came forward claiming Johnson sexually abused him in the 80's when he was the priest at Zion Church in Windsor.

"It has to be known. It has to be known that he used to do these things," said the now 45-year-old.

Action News also spoke with Father Dave Bollinger Friday.

He believes he was removed as Pastor at Saint Paul's Church in Owego years ago, for blowing the whistle on Johnson's activities.

The Episcopal Diocese Bishop alleged Bollinger financially mismanaged his parish.

Allegations Bollinger was later cleared of.

As for Johnson, he was arraigned and had his bail set at $50,000.

A hearing is set for February 16th.

STORY LINK


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