Victim Rights March08

Monsignor Craig Harrison delivers the invocation at the Liberty Bell downtown during a Victims Rights March.

The man who has alleged sexual abuse by Monsignor Craig Harrison said he was inappropriately touched on three separate occasions while he was an altar boy at St. Joseph Church in Firebaugh, according to new information released by the Firebaugh Police Department. 

The victim told police he was alone with Harrison when it happened.

The victim, now an adult, was 16 or 17 years old at the time. However, a date when the incident happened was not given.

No charges have yet been filed as the investigation is ongoing. However, Firebaugh Police Chief Salvador Raygoza said by email on Friday the case could be submitted for review to the Fresno County District Attorney's Office next week.

After being placed on paid leave by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno on Thursday, Harrison has retreated to the coast, according to Kyle Humphrey, his attorney, friend and parishioner. Humphrey said Harrison is receiving an outpouring of local support but that the priest needs time to deal with the devastation he feels as a result of the allegations.

Humphrey also questioned the changing nature of information coming out about the allegation.

"This whole accusation seems to be completely fluid," he said. "Now it’s three times (that the abuse happened). Before he was 14 to 16 years old now it's 16 to 17 years old."

Firebaugh police have not said when the alleged abuse happened, only that it was when Harrison was a priest at the Firebaugh church. Harrison was priest in Firebaugh for seven years before returning to his home parish in Bakersfield in 1999. 

Humphrey also feels the diocese's call for anyone with information to come forward is like "inviting the pigs to line up at the trough for whatever their needs are."

"When you blast that out you invite a lot of damaged people or people with unsuccessful lives to feel important," he said. "They need attention."

Support for Harrison continued to build Friday with messages of support and tributes on social media. Several supporters stated they would be attending a vigil in Harrison's honor Wednesday at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. 

Stacey Shepard can be reached at 661-395-7417.

(33) comments

missmaymay

I believe every accuser.. I knew altar boys from St Anthony's Seminary ( now closed ) In Santa Barbara hushed up abuse... I went to Catholic School raised firm Roman Catholic.. survivor of that faith...So much evil....I know two priests that I can name that left the faith over the same woman...ask me???? Believe me they have secrets......

SNAPJudy

An attorney for an accused California priest took his chance to disparage every survivor of child sexual abuse by calling them “damaged” and “people with unsuccessful lives who want to feel important.” He argued that the Diocese of Fresno’s call for reports of abuse is like “inviting the pigs to line up at the trough for whatever their needs are.”
By lashing out in all directions against survivors of child sexual abuse, attorney Kyle Humphrey looks like an angry parishioner, not a composed attorney. And through his quotes Mr. Humphrey does not actually defend his client, but merely enforces the status quo.
The science on sexual violence is clear. Very few victims ever come forward to report their abuse, and those that do often take years, if not decades to come forward. Why? Because of the feelings of shame, guilt, and fear that envelop those who have been abused. 
So when a loud attorney in a small California town wantonly insults and besmirches everyone who has experienced sexual violence – not just those who have made allegations against his client – he provides a first hand example of why survivors feel shame, guilt, and fear.
But we are heartened because we know that people like Mr. Humphrey are dwindling out. As sexual assault scandals rock the nation, from the streets of Hollywood to the training rooms of East Lansing to the pews of Buffalo, more Americans are educating themselves about the realities of sexual violence and what they can do to stop it. One of the most critical first steps is learning why survivors take so long to come forward and working to do what we can in our communities to be trauma-informed and to create places where survivors feel empowered to come forward, not ashamed.
We encourage Mr. Humphrey to follow their example and educate himself further. Until he does, we encourage him to keep his insults private
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Concerned Citizen of Bakersfield

Catholic seminaries hide all manner of homosexual and child predators...guilty

Copper

I take offense to lumping homosexuals with child predators. That is a propagandist lie. The majority of child perps are middle / upper class Caucasian male heterosexuals.

chadbacca

Thank you for pointing that out that the two are NOT mutually exclusive.

Psychrb

Where do you get he lied to the press???? Reports say he was informed "face to face" regarding the accusations not being put on leave. That decision could have come later like on Thursday when. Fr. Craig stated he had ust been informed. If you are going to make a post please think it through. I'm not supporting either party here but please don't ASSUME anything unless you have all the facts which none of us do at this point!!

WorriedAboutSafety

It does not sound good for him. If the police are submitting the case to the DA, that means the police investigators believe they have a case against him. The idea the police send the case to the DA for a "review" is misleading. If the cops felt they did not have probable cause the case would have gone no where and no one would have heard about it. The priest's best outcome would be if the DA rejects the case on the basis they believe there is not enough evidence to prove it at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. Regardless, this man's reputation is destroyed already. How did this incident get leaked to the news anyways?

REMUDA

"The man . . . an altar boy . . . The victim, now an adult, was 16 or 17 years old . . ."
---
WHO . . . ?
----
No longer a protected minor. . . !
-----
Face his accuser (and US). . . here in this 'Court' . . . !?
------
WHO . . . ?
------
NOW . . . AFTER ALL THESE 'YELLOW JOURNALISM' LURID HEADLINES . . . !
--------
NOW . . . !

ConcernedCatholic

"Action News has learned another accuser came forward alleging misconduct when the priest worked in Merced."

https://abc30.com/bakersfield-monsignor-accused-of-sexual-misconduct-with-a-minor/5270713/

REMUDA

. . . as Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once wrote: "When somebody says: "I'm Catholic BUT . . . " It means:
--------
They're really NOT Catholic!"
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https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTIEzWyyyWSpVGrwRfXJXLiCJNhy7DCPQ7gGW1sJI9fYORmztj3aQ

Nevermind

Everyone's an expert.....how about we let the justice system decide. Someone is lying, may the liar be prosecuted, whichever side it is.

Alexis Etcheverry

It’s not true! He would never do anything like that.

Copper

Alexis until you meet and talk to the accuser fave to face and hear their stories. You should never ever make a statement like that. You don’t know. You probably don’t know anything about child molestors. They are usually very well liked with good standing in the community which enables them easy access to oir children. The sociopathic mind is very cunning. I pray that you , or your children are never at the receiving end of this type of abuse by a charismatic well liked person and have people making statements of support for the abuser . How would you feel? How do other victims who choose to remain silent because of people like you making statements like that in public. 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 4 boys are victimized and most will keep the abuse a secret because of people like you . Statistically You probably have friends and family that are holding abuse secret .

Vavoom

"why didnt he say something 25 years ago"....thats a supporters' logic? scary... religious people scare me. so if one represents god you MUST be a good person? as a child, a child doesnt come forward because their whole world will fall apart AS A CHILD. fear, shame, power, control all factors that play a role in those who maintain silence. what do you supporters think happen to men who deny their sexual needs... sexual needs that are natural, that are biologically based and hormonally based? what happens is sexual deviance. sexual deviant behaviors towards nuns, boys....

Copper

Don’t assume celibacy is the reason for predatory behavior. Baptist Church just had a huge sex abuse scandal uncovered with married pastors . Married coaches and scout leaders have also been guilty of these heinous crimes. Lots of single men who might not have a sexual partner don’t turn to molesting and sexual abuse others. A sociopath is a sociopath and preys on vulnerable people.

Ray Riley

Looks like someone is out to gain some cash requardless of what it does to a nans reputation or whom he hurts...

ConcernedCatholic

Or maybe they were too scared to say anything because of how popular Fr. Craig is.......

Copper

Shame on you Ray Riley . Think it’s ok to accuse a possible victim of sexual abuse of lying for money? Are you people even Christians?

Jerry Todd

This page carries 2 interesting accusers - Copper and ConcernedCatholic. Don't see them anywhere else. Cast doubt. Create confusion. Hope for a disastrous outcome. This isn't how "concerned Catholics" operate, as gossip mongers. Jesus made it clear how he handled sinners, whoever they may be. A real concerned Catholic would be attuned to his words.

Where's the question of why this poor individual had to wait 25 years unless he's been coached?

Similar situation in Wasco against a deceased Pastor where the person claimed abuse 20 or more years earlier. He got a payoff rather than running up Diocesan legal bills.

ConcernedCatholic

If he wasn't removed for potentially doing these things we wouldn't be in a state of confusion. At least we know the diocese takes accusations of children being molested seriously. This is a child remember...

Copper

About time , how many children, how many hundreds , thousands of years, how many cover ups , and how many still hold this sad secret because of being not believed or publicly shamed? Wonder what the stats are on that?

NoCalone

Amen Copper. I was married to an abuse survivor. He never told a soul until the other Altar boys named him as a fellow victim. He was eight when “Monsignor” started his drinking, boating and funny business on their weekend trips to Lake Berryessa. The story broke in the SF Chronicle in the 90’s. He would have NEVER told, the other’s could not take keeping the secret for nearly 25 years. It destroyed our entire family. His Mom worked for “Monsignor” for years. “Monsignor” was a supposed friend to all in his San Francisco parish. It happens, it happened to us. The shame, guilt, betrayal, remorse, disgust and the fact that as young children they feel they won’t be believed or they will be ostracized is enough to keep them quiet for decades. Our lawyer fought hard to get the statute of limitations changed. The Diocese is powerful. The victims are powerless. I do pray that the truth is heard.


REMUDA

No longer "A CHILD" . . .
-------
. . . as Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once wrote: 'When somebody says: "I'm Catholic BUT . . . " It means:

They're really NOT Catholic!'
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https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTIEzWyyyWSpVGrwRfXJXLiCJNhy7DCPQ7gGW1sJI9fYORmztj3aQ

Copper

Many victims wait decades and decades to even speak about abuse some never tell precisely because of victim shaming and people rushing to defend and support a “good” person instead allowing the investigation to be completed, charges filed, and court case over. Then if that “good “ person is not found guilty you can sing their praises and defend them. But anything else is victim shaming and trying to suppress any other possible victims from coming forward . Shame on you for doing that. People like Jerry Todd are exactly what is wrong with society and why so many victims do not come forward. For the record I have never accused anyone . Only commented on the culture of cover up that has ran rampant in not only the Catholic Church but many other religions institutions and public entities as well. Jerry Todd shame on you .

REMUDA

. . . as Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once wrote: 'When somebody says: "I'm Catholic BUT . . . " It means:

They're really NOT Catholic!'
--------
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTIEzWyyyWSpVGrwRfXJXLiCJNhy7DCPQ7gGW1sJI9fYORmztj3aQ

Copper

Jerry Todd you are an ignorant victim shamer. You know nothing about abuse victims . Publicly saying they must have been coached or wanting a pay out. Disgusting and pathetic . I hope you don’t claim to be a Christian. Because a true follower of Jesus would never say those things about a possible victim of abuse. I’m sure Jesus really appreciates your words

ConcernedCatholic

Let's not forget he lied to media yesterday.

Victim Assistance Coordinator Cheryl Sarkisian of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno confirmed to 23ABC News on Friday that Bakersfield's St. Francis Church Monsignor Craig Harrison was "personally informed" about the accusations in a face-to-face meeting with Bishop Xavier Ochoa and diocese chancellor Teresa Dominguez on April 24 at 9:30 a.m.

On Thursday, just before 11 a.m., Monsignor Craig Harrison wrote in a Facebook post that he had "just learned" that he was on temporary administrative leave.

REMUDA

so . . .
---
Monsignor Harrison "was personally informed" about the ACCUSATIONS (on Wednesday) at 0930 24 April . . . (but not the admin leave)
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and then . . .
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On Thursday, just befor 11 a.m., (a FULL DAY LATER) . . . "just learned" . . . that he was on temporary administrative leave." (your words).
------
NO LIE . . . ! (still innocent in "the court of public opinion")
------
Seems that YOUR effort here epitomizes, . . . as Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once wrote: 'When somebody says: "I'm Catholic BUT . . . " It means:

They're really NOT Catholic!'
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https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTIEzWyyyWSpVGrwRfXJXLiCJNhy7DCPQ7gGW1sJI9fYORmztj3aQ

ConcernedCatholic

Let's not forget that he lied to the media just yesterday.

"Victim Assistance Coordinator Cheryl Sarkisian of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno confirmed to 23ABC News on Friday that Bakersfield's St. Francis Church Monsignor Craig Harrison was "personally informed" about the accusations in a face-to-face meeting with Bishop Xavier Ochoa and diocese chancellor Teresa Dominguez on April 24 at 9:30 a.m.

On Thursday, just before 11 a.m., Monsignor Craig Harrison wrote in a Facebook post that he had "just learned" that he was on temporary administrative leave."

REMUDA

READ ABOVE. . . !

ConcernedCatholic

Yet people are defending him...............

larry dieter

Why shouldnt they defend him he is innocent until proven guilty-----and answer this----why did this guy wait all these years to say something-----if he thoughjt something happened then he should have said something about it a long time ago

Copper

Wow another ignorant victim You attitude is exactly why people take so long to come forward if ever. Look at the stats Larry 1 in 3 children are molested . How many come forward? And how many that do finally agonizingly come forward are talked about in this way? .. shame on you Larry

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