The father of a 37-year-old man suing Father Michael Kelly testified on Tuesday that his son told him that Kelly had sexually assaulted him.
The father, whose name is being withheld because his son was an alleged sexual assault victim, said that he was visiting his son in 2007. They were saying their goodbyes when the son blurted out, "I was (sexually assaulted) by Father Kelly," the man said.
However, the son drove away without elaborating, the father said, and calls to his son were not successful, he told a jury at San Joaquin County Superior Court. Due to statute of limitations laws, Kelly was never criminally charged.
Kelly has been pastor of St. Joachim's Catholic Church in Lockeford since 2004 and previously served at parishes in Stockton, Sonora, Tracy, Modesto and Ceres.
He faces a clergy sexual abuse civil lawsuit filed by the 37-year-old on allegations that Kelly sexually abused him several years ago. The plaintiff was an altar boy at Stockton's Cathedral of the Annunciation in the 1980s, when Kelly was a priest there.
Crying on the witness stand Tuesday, the plaintiff's father said, "I was just so sad and devastated. I was too naive to know what was going on."
Earlier in the day, the plaintiff's father testified about Kelly tickling and rubbing the plaintiff and his sister on the floor. The father said he tickled them very hard.
"I was upset," the plaintiff's father said. "I didn't stop it because I was intimidated by a priest."
Later, the plaintiff's father said, "I trusted the Catholic church 100 percent — 110 percent."
Judge Bob McNatt adjourned proceedings Tuesday before the plaintiff's father could elaborate on his 2007 conversation with his son, and cross-examination won't begin until this morning.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.