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SNAP: Five men reported they were molested by Monsignor Craig Harrison

Local News

Five men now have reported they were molested by Monsignor Craig Harrison when they were teenagers.

That’s the shocking revelation that will be made Tuesday at a news conference by the nation’s biggest organization of people molested by Catholic clergy.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says three men in Fresno County, one in Merced and one from Bakersfield told the organization they were abused by Harrison decades ago.

Last month, two men accused Harrison of sexual misconduct in the 1990’s and 1980’s when they were teenagers. One in Firebaugh and the other in Merced. 

Following the allegations, Harrison was placed on paid leave by the Fresno Diocese. He was serving at St. Francis Church in Bakersfield. 

The news stunned the community. 

Last week, the third allegation against Harrison came to light but was debunked after the Bakersfield Police Department said the allegation had been unsubstantiated. 

Now, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is reporting five alleged victims have come forward to them. 

They say one of the victims was allegedly abused in Bakersfield.

According to SNAP, all the victims allegedly reported the abuse to the Fresno Diocese back when the alleged incidents happened. 

We reached out to the diocese for comment, but have not heard back as of news time.

According to the Fresno Bee, last week Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent out letters to all 12 of the state’s Catholic dioceses.

The letters ask the diocese to voluntarily preserve documents related to abuse allegations involving clergy, staff, and volunteers received from 1996 to the present. The Attorney General’s office will look into whether the archdiocese properly reported the allegations.

And we are now learning that district attorney offices across the Central Valley are now banding together to help the Fresno Diocese with the investigation they are allegedly already performing. 

Earlier this year, the Fresno Diocese announced they would be conducting an independent review of sexual misconduct allegations dating back to 1922, which was when the diocese was established. 

They said they would be working with the help of former FBI Executive Assistant Director Kathleen McChesney to go through the records. 

Kern County’s District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer confirmed with us today that in the representation of the seven counties covered by the Fresno Diocese, the Madera County District Attorney, Sally Moreno would work alongside the FBI agent to review the files. 

Zimmer said Moreno would then forward any allegation found that had not already been reported to law enforcement. 

A representative with snap said they did not trust the work, former FBI agent, McChesney would be doing. 

Snap is calling for the Attorney General to subpoena all of the Fresno Diocese’s archive files. 

They will be holding a press conference tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 in Fresno in protest of the diocese. 

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