|Priest Accused of Sex Abuse out on Bail
July 8, 2010
The 82-year-old priest recently accused of sex abuse is out on a $5,000 bond.
The Diocese of Charlotte put Father Joseph Kelleher on administrative leave after allegations surfaced by a man claims he was abused in 1977. The man lives out of state now, but says the abuse occurred when he and Father Kelleher were at Our Lady of Annunciation in Albemarle.
A man who identified himself as the victim of the abuse posted on a Catholic blog that Kelleher "molested me repeatedly at the age of 14." The man posted several other times since Sept. 2009 when he first came forward to Albemarle Police. The blogger wrote "I wish I could go after civil damages."
As word spread of Kelleher's investigation and subsequent arrest, many people who grew up with the priest expressed outrage.
"Since he doesn't have a voice right now, I feel like all of us who know Father Kelleher, who knows what kind of person he is, that we need to stand up for him," said Jennifer Menzel Cramer.
Cramer attended a Charlotte parish where Kelleher served for nine years. She said both of her brothers spent significant time serving Kelleher. She said no one that she talked to suggested he could have done anything inappropriate.
The review board of the Diocese of Charlotte is also conducting its own investigation of the allegation.
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