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Calaveras County Grand Jury indicts Michael Kelly

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Posted: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 12:00 am

A Calaveras County grand jury has indicted the Rev. Michael Kelly of the Stockton Diocese on several child molestation counts. The district attorney's office, in a statement issued Monday, said it would seek to work with authorities to extradite Kelly from his native Ireland to face the charges.

The criminal grand jury indicted Kelly on three counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child and one count of oral copulation with a child.

Kelly, a longtime priest with the Stockton Diocese, fled to his native Ireland in April 2012 after a civil jury found him liable of sexual misconduct against a Marin man when he was a Stockton parish school student more than 25 years ago. He left on the eve of the second phase of the trial to determine damages.

He had served at Modesto, Sonora and Ceres parishes, among others. He has continually maintained his innocence of abusing boys, calling the accusations "vicious false allegations." He said he had "lost everything" after serving 39 years with the diocese.

After the 2012 lawsuit was settled for $3.75 million, two other Kelly lawsuits were filed, one from an altar boy who said the abuse occurred while Kelly served at St. Andrew's Church in San Andreas.

Kelly has not been defrocked — he continues to hold the title of priest — but he is no longer allowed to wear a priest's collar or perform the sacraments.

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  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 7:06 pm on Tue, Jan 14, 2014.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2255

    Actually, the evidence presented (which will most certainly include the credibility of all witnesses) must be enough to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Or are you suggesting that since the defendant is a Catholic priest that the threshold be higher? Priests, ministers and other officers of the different churches are human beings like everyone else. As such, they shouldn’t expect different treatment in any legal proceeding, except that if found guilty any punishment meted out should reflect their higher level of responsibility toward those they serve – including God.

  • Steve Golay posted at 12:13 pm on Tue, Jan 14, 2014.

    Cadavera Vero Innumera Posts: 43

    There is an old hymn which goes: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow . . ."

    When this jury sits it will be a criminal case, not civil. The evidence must be overpowering! The credibility of the young man (men) must be nearly unassailable for the case to reach this stage.



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