BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – Late last Friday, the Merced County District Attorney’s Office announced it would not file charges against the monsignor following an allegation of inappropriate touching.
We followed up with Harrison’s attorney Kyle Humphrey, who has released new documents.
“I’m ready, let’s go,” said Humphrey. “Let’s go Marco Polo. I’ll go across the world with monsignor because I know he’s innocent.”
In a news release, the office stated because the alleged incidents happened in 1987 and 1988, the statute of limitations has expired. Adding, the decision follows an exhaustive investigation by Merced Police and the district attorney’s office.
I spoke with the Merced County DA’s office at about 4:30 p.m. on Monday, they said their decision was based on the allegations, the statute of limitations. And that they never reached the point of deciding whether the allegations were true or not.
Harrison’s attorney says he’s not surprised.
“It’s a fine excuse for the nay-sayers and the negative people to say ‘oh this doesn’t mean anything,” said Humphrey.
Among those negative people, he refers to is a catholic activist named Stephen Brady. In May, Brady held a news conference in Bakersfield alleging inappropriate conduct by Harrison.
The monsignor is suing Brady for defamation. Harrison’s legal team filed this 384-page opposition.
The documents reveal a private investigator attended Brady’s news conference and audio taped the event. The transcript reveals Brady claimed he wasn’t really sure about the facts, but would find out. It also reveals Brady admits that one of the victims does not exist.
When asked why he was convicting Harrison without fully knowing the facts Brady responded: “well that’s the way, that’s the way it gets done.”
In Harrison’s written statement filed among the documents, Harrison states he never had sex with anyone after taking his vows to become a priest. He also claimed he did not examine any boy’s private parts nor was aware of any drug testing that involved viewing private parts.
We reached out to Brady’s attorneys for comment but did not hear back as of news time. A hearing for attorneys to argue the anti-SLAPP motion and this opposition is scheduled for November 25. Harrison continues to be investigated in Firebaugh for sexual misconduct. We reached out to the police for an update but did not hear back.