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Father Michael Kelly denies clergy abuse allegations

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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 1:46 pm, Fri Sep 14, 2012.

Former Lockeford priest Michael Kelly says that he did not sexually abuse a 12-year-old former altar boy in about 2000.

"I am completely and totally innocent of these allegations; they are utterly untrue," Kelly said in an email to the News-Sentinel from his native Ireland. "Never, ever, did I do anything of the sort to the plaintiff, or to anyone else, for that matter."

Kelly responded to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Stockton by a 24-year-old man who was an altar boy in San Andreas when Kelly was lead priest there. The suit alleges that Kelly sexually abused the plaintiff more than a decade ago.

In addition to Kelly, St. Andrew Parish in San Andreas, Stockton Diocese Bishop Stephen Blaire and Monsignor Richard Ryan are named in the lawsuit.

According to the plaintiff's attorney, Vince Finaldi, Blaire and Ryan conspired to allow Kelly to remain in the ministry despite Kelly being unfit to minister to children and knowledge of several past allegations against Kelly.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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