A second person has come forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Monsignor Craig Harrison, the Senior Priest of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bakersfield.
On April 15, Diocese officials reported the first allegation to the Firebaugh Police Department. The accuser was an altar boy when he was 16 or 17 years, said police.
Harrison is on paid leave as the investigation continues.
According to Teresa Dominguez, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Fresno, the second person came forward Thursday, the same day the news broke about the initial allegations against Harrison.
We have confirmed that second man accusing Harrison has reported the incident to the Merced Police Department, after a recommendation from the Diocese. According to the Diocese, that is where the alleged abuse happened.
“We’re very concerned about everyone involved,” said Dominguez. “Obviously when someone is accused, there are great challenges that come in to their life, but we’re also equally concerned for those that are coming forward and we encourage our faithful to be patient with the process and to remember that it is so important as a church to be present for anyone that comes forward.”
We reached out to Merced PD who say the alleged incident happened in the late ’80s.
The Diocese says Harrison served our Lady of Mercy, St. Patrick’s and Sacred Heart in Merced from 1987-1989.
At this time, Merced PD says they are conducting a sexual battery investigation. They did not release any more details.
We reached out to local attorney Daniel Rodriguez to help us understand what a sexual battery investigation means
“Tthe first part is the touching of a person, of an intimate part of the person, that’s element number one,” said Rodriguez. “Number two is, it was done against the will of the person being touched and the third it was done with the intent of sexual gratification or arousal.”
Rodriguez is in no way related to the case.