New allegations emerge in lawsuit against priest

The Union Democrat

By Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat
Published Mar 28, 2017

New allegations have surfaced in a lawsuit that alleges a former pool-maintenance contractor at Presentation Church in Stockton was fired after receiving a lewd text message from the parish’s pastor, Monsignor Larry McGovern, who is a high-ranking priest within the Stockton Diocese.

An amended complaint filed Friday in San Joaquin County Superior Court claims that McGovern had been removed from a position at Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton over allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct and undergone therapy prior to being put in charge of Presentation Church, which operates an elementary school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

“We think it’s relevant because of the alleged systemic problem in the Stockton Diocese as has been uncovered with prior issues, including — but not limited to — Oliver O’Grady and (Michael) Kelly,” said Saul Wolf, an attorney for Manly, Stewart and Finaldi, the firm that is representing the plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Kelly, who served as priest of St. Patrick’s Church in Sonora from 1987 to 1997, remains wanted by federal authorities after fleeing to Ireland in 2012 while under criminal investigation by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office over allegations he had sexually abused a 10-year-old boy at a Mokelumne Hill parish where he was a priest from 2000 to 2002.

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