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.