Former Widener U. Dean Resigned in Wake of Past Sex-Abuse Allegation

Michael Ledoux, who had worked at the university for nine years and is also a Franciscan priest, resigned his position in July after campus officials learned that he had been accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy in the 1980s. His accuser never pressed charges and didn’t pursue a lawsuit, but there was a settlement. Mr. Ledoux maintains his innocence, but chose to resign after the university’s president told him he would be placed on administrative leave. A university spokesman said Widener had found no evidence of complaints or improper behavior during Mr. Ledoux’s tenure there. His job at the university was not a Franciscan appointment, and most recently he was acting dean of Widener’s school of education, innovation, and continuing studies.

Widener had no knowledge of the accusation against Ledoux until it received a tip last summer, Hanson said. Widener conducted a criminal-background check before Ledoux was hired and a child-abuse check when he became involved in the charter school, Hanson said. Both showed no problems, he said.

The allegation against Ledoux is cited in records compiled by the Diocese of Manchester, N.H. Those records were made public in 2009 and have since been posted on, a website that catalogs records and allegations related to clergy sex abuse.

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