For the First Time, a Bakersfield Man Details Alleged Sexual Abuse by Monsignor Craig Harrison
By Kelly Broderick
ABC 23 News
May 8, 2019
An attorney representing a Bakersfield man who says he was inappropriately touched by Monsignor Craig Harrison says he has been trying to file a police report for the past week with Bakersfield Police on behalf of his client, but has received mixed messages of where to file the report.
According to Dr. Joseph George, a clinical psychologist and attorney out of Sacramento, his office got in touch with the head of the BPD Special Victims Unit, and will be filing a report on Wednesday, May 8.
George said his client was 13 to 14 years old when he became involved with Monsignor Harrison in Bakersfield. According to George, the alleged victim met Harrison prior to him becoming an Assistant Pastor in 1989.
The man says he attended St. Francis Elementary and was always around prior to Harrison relocating to Mojave. The man says he was an altar server, serving mass daily for years, five days a week.
The alleged victim admits he idolized Harrison, coming from a less fortunate family. At one point, the alleged victim said Harrison asked his mother if he could adopt him and the mother told Harrison he could not.
According to the man, the Monsignor gave groceries to his family and would give gifts to his friends.
The alleged victim said the sexual contact began through wrestling with Harrison, then grabbing and feeling through clothing.
Between 1989 and 1992, he says he would spend the night at Harrison's rectory. According to the attorney, his client would sleep on the couch and he said several of his friends would sleep on the bed with the Monsignor.
According to the alleged victim, between the ages of 13 and 16, there were 8 to 12 instances of sexual contact.
The attorney said his client still holds Monsignor Harrison in high esteem, saying "I still love him and I hate him."
The alleged victim said the contact was never skin on skin, but wrestling, where Harrison would pin him against the wall and grind on him with an erection.
The attorney said he is also representing an alleged victim from Merced, who reported lewd and lascivious conduct with the Monsignor.
Monsignor Harrison has been on administrative leave since late April, pending investigations surrounding sexual misconduct allegations with minors.
Harrison's attorney, Kyle Humphrey has released a statement commenting on the new accusations.
Although this false accusation against an innocent man is horrifying to Monsignor Craig, we are so grateful to finally have enough details about this claim to begin to prove his innocence. This confirms our expectation of both Mr. George’s involvement in the case, and of the lack of credibility of these accusations. We are still hopeful that we will receive the name of the accuser, and welcome further investigation into this claim so that we can fully exonerate Monsignor Craig.
BPD wants to remind the public that if they want to file a police report of any kind, call 327-7111.