Fresno County DA will not file charges against Monsignor Craig Harrison in sexual assault case

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) — After an investigation, no charges will be filed against Monsignor Craig Harrison, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Investigators looked into sexual assault offenses Monsignor Harrison was alleged to have committed, the DA’s Office concluded that the statute of limitations bars the filing of criminal charges.

RELATED: Merced County DA will not file charges against Monsignor Craig Harrison

While the allegations made against Monsignor Harrison appear credible to investigators, they reportedly occurred in the 1990s. These allegations were not reported to law enforcement until April of 2019. Delayed reporting is not uncommon in sexual assault cases, but it can limit the ability to criminally charge and prosecute offenders.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office

In reviewing cases for the filing of criminal charges, prosecutors are required to follow certain ethical considerations. The DA’s Office said they may only file charges if:

  1. There has been a complete investigation and thorough consideration of all pertinent data.
  2. There is legally sufficient, admissible evidence of a corpus delicti.
  3. There is legally sufficient, admissible evidence of the accused’s identity as the perpetrator of the crime.
  4. The prosecutor has considered the probability of conviction by an objective factfinder hearing the admissible evidence. Even in cases where the allegations meet the stated filing criteria, prosecutors cannot file charges if the statute of limitations has expired.

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