UPDATE: Craig Harrison attorney issues response to expected lawsuits

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UPDATE (6/9): Kyle J. Humphrey, one of several attorneys who has responded to allegations made against Craig Harrison, issued the following statement Wednesday:

“From the second we heard the false claims against Monsignor Craig three years ago, we suspected they were leading up to a lawsuit. We even identified this particular lawyer as someone who would likely be involved. So, while it is devastating for Monsignor Craig to have to continue to give his time and emotional energy to false claims; we now have proof that our suspicions were correct. We said from the very beginning that this was always, ultimately about money. It is shameful, but not surprising, and is just another opportunity for us to once again demonstrate Monsignor Craig’s innocence.”

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A law firm says it will file two lawsuits Wednesday accusing former Bakersfield priest Craig Harrison of sexual abuse and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno of ignoring and concealing his actions.  

Attorney Jeff Anderson invited media to a press conference Wednesday, but wouldn’t answer questions. He wouldn’t say if the suits allege new victims or merely revisit previous accusations.

Craig Edmonston, an attorney representing Harrison in multiple civil suits the former priest has filed against the diocese and others, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Harrison was the subject of multiple investigations after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced in April 2019. Authorities in Bakersfield, Fresno and Merced declined to file criminal charges.

Following its investigation, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said the allegations against Harrison “appear credible” but the statute of limitations had expired. Fresno prosecutors said the alleged misconduct within their jurisdiction occurred in the 1990s.

Harrison maintained his innocence and earlier this year resigned from the priesthood.

Last month, a Fresno judge dismissed Harrison’s defamation suit against the diocese. Edmonston said he would appeal the ruling.

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