From WBNG-TV, Binghamton, NJ:
Another man has come forward, talking only with Action News, claiming he too was abused by an Episcopal priest.
Last week we told you 79-year-old Ralph Johnson resigned from the priesthood. It followed a five month investigation into allegations he sexually abused a boy in the 1970s.
After watching our report, another man says he was also abused by Johnson years ago.
"Memories came flooding back. I had tried to put this out of my mind for years," said the Montrose man, who does not want to be identified.
He says he's ready to relive a day that changed his life. He claims former Episcopal priest Ralph Johnson made sexual advances toward him in 1982 when he was 16.
"It has to be known. It has to be known that he used to do these things," said the man.
The man, now 41, says he met with Father Johnson because he wanted to become a priest. At Johnson's home in Susquehanna County, he says he was forced to spend the night in Johnson's bed.
There, he says Father Johnson put his arms around him and asked if he was homosexual. The man says there was no sex, but it made him lose faith in the church and himself.
"I became very depressed and I stopped going to church for a while. I do believe that experience and a few other things that happened led to my divorce," he said.
A few years later, the man told his priest at St. Peters Church in Tunkhannock what had happened. That priest is said to have reported it to the Episcopal Diocese in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The Bethlehem Diocese couldn't do anything about the allegations because Johnson worked at Zion Episcopalian Church in Windsor. A complaint would have to be filed with the Syracuse Diocese.
But this man doesn't think the complaint was ever filed. After more than two decades, he's ready to contact the church himself.
"I would just like to see that the Episcopal Diocese would take responsibility," he said.
It's taken years to break his silence, but he's now ready for his voice to be heard.
Action News contacted the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York in Syracuse and a spokesperson says the church wants to hear from that man.
Referring to rumors swirling around Father Johnson for years, the church has said before, "The Diocese has made numerous attempts to investigate these claims and allegations ... no victim had ever come forward. Without the existence and sworn testimony of a victim, we were powerless to proceed."
With our report, the church may be proceeding with another investigation.
Father Johnson served at several local churches in Owego, Binghamton, Windsor and Buckingham, Pennsylvania.
Story Created: May 22, 2006 at 6:35 PM EST
Story Updated: May 23, 2006 at 12:57 AM EST