The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno has placed on paid administrative leave a Catholic priest who previously served in Bakersfield because of years old accusations of sexual misconduct.
Bishop Joseph V. Brennan informed parishioners of Good Shepherd Parish on Sunday that Eric Swearingen was placed on leave Wednesday, noting that the priest is currently very ill. It has been reported he suffers from brain cancer.
Good Shepherd includes The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Holy Family and St. Charles Borromeo — all in Visalia — and St. Thomas the Apostle, in Goshen.
In 2006, Swearingen settled a lawsuit in which he was alleged to have sexually abused a minor altar boy between 1989 and 1993 while at Our Lady of Guadalupe, in Bakersfield. He faced no punitive action.