BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — An investigation into alleged sexual misconduct by Msgr. Craig Harrison has been closed and there will be no charges against the priest due to insufficient evidence, according to the Bakersfield Police Department.
Police said Thursday the statute of limitations in the case had passed, but even if it hadn’t there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.
“This case does not meet established standards for a recommendation for filing of criminal charges,” police said in the release. “It will not be forwarded to the Kern County District Attorney for review.”
Harrison, the longtime pastor of St. Francis Catholic Church, has denied any wrongdoing since multiple allegations surfaced against him in April.
While the Bakersfield investigation is closed, investigations continue in two other Central Valley cities.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno officials said on April 15 they reported an allegation of sexual misconduct against Harrison to the Firebaugh Police Department. That accuser, police said, served as an altar boy and was 16 or 17 years old when the alleged abuse occurred. He’s now an adult.
A second person then came forward and reported alleged abuse to the Merced Police Department.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the Diocese of Fresno said Thursday evening Msgr. Harrison’s status will remain the same as Firebaugh and Merced police departments continue their own investigations into separate allegations of sexual abuse by Harrison.