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Plaintiff's wife testifies in Michael Kelly trial; psychiatrist takes stand

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Posted: Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:14 am, Thu Mar 29, 2012.

The plaintiff's wife in the Michael Kelly sexual assault trial broke down in tears Wednesday as she testified about the time her husband told her he was sexually assaulted as a child.

The wife, whose name is not being disclosed by court order because her husband is a potential sexual assault victim, testified that her husband broke the news to her in 2006, when he was stationed in Japan for the U.S. Air Force. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas, and Berlin, met the plaintiff in 2000 and married him in 2002. They have two children.

The plaintiff, who grew up in Stockton and now lives in Fairfax, became angry and subject to panic attacks in recent years, his wife said during testimony that lasted about 30 minutes.

The plaintiff is a 37-year-old man who has filed a lawsuit against Kelly on allegations that the Lockeford priest sexually assaulted him when the plaintiff was an altar boy in the 1980s at Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton. Kelly has been pastor of St. Joachim's Catholic Church in Lockeford for the past eight years. He has not been criminally charged in the case.

Earlier Wednesday, Dr. Anlee Kuo, a San Francisco psychiatrist who once examined the plaintiff last October, testified on behalf of the plaintiff. Kuo said during cross-examination that all she knows is what the plaintiff told her about his allegations against Kelly.

She criticized a report by Dr. J. Alexander Bodkin, an associate professor at Harvard University's medical school, who said in testimony last week that there is no scientific proof that repressed memory is a valid concept.

The plaintiff claims that, due to repressed memory, that it wasn't until 2006 that he remembered that Kelly sexually assaulted him more than 20 years earlier.

While being questioned by Vince Finaldi, one of the plaintiff's attorneys, Kuo testified Wednesday that Bodkin, an expert witness for Kelly, did not complete a comprehensive report on the plaintiff. Bodkin should have included the plaintiff's childhood medical condition, development history, behavior patterns and comments from the plaintiff about the incidents he's accusing Kelly of committing, Kuo said.

During follow-up cross-examination, Kuo said that she never read the transcript of Bodkin's interview with the plaintiff that Bodkin attached to his report.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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