A new accuser comes forward claiming a Bakersfield priest of sexual misconduct, while he was a priest in Merced.
According to Merced Police Lieutenant Jay Struble, his department received the report on Friday, the 46-year-old victim stated to detectives that the incident occurred in the 1980s.
“We gotta be able to validate the information they’re telling us and also validate if Mr. Harrison was in Merced during the time that these allegations are being made,” Struble said.
The Diocese of Fresno was notified of the allegations in Merced, the same day they made the announcement, they had put Harrison on leave.
According to the Diocese of Fresno, they received an allegation of sexual misconduct on April 12, three days later, Diocesan personnel reported the allegation to Firebaugh Police Department.
According to police, the victim was 16 to 17 years old during the time of the incident.
Investigators said the victim alleges he was inappropriately touched on three separate incidents when he was serving as an altar boy while Monsignor Harrison was a priest at St. Joseph Church in Firebaugh.
“We have somebody claiming an event that happened 30 years ago and someone else 25 years ago. We haven’t been provided any information about the motivations. The names. The identity of these people,” Kyle Humphrey said.
Humphrey is the attorney representing Harrison, he claims his client is innocent.
“I’m standing firm with the absolute conviction that he’s innocent, that he will be proven innocent,” he said.