Fresno-area priest resigns Catholic church amid lawsuit over misconduct investigation

Fresno Bee

February 19, 2021

By Yesenia Amaro

A Diocese of Fresno priest accused of sexual misconduct but never criminally charged resigned from the church this week.

According to a statement from his attorney, Monsignor Craig Harrison handed his resignation for his pastor position at St. Francis Parish in Bakersfield.

“This decision has come after nearly two years of seeking due process and fair play from the Bishop,” the statement reads.

In a brief statement Friday, Diocese of Fresno officials acknowledged Harrison’s resignation, but said they wouldn’t comment on the matter.

Harrison is suing the Diocese of Fresno for defamation. He filed the lawsuit shortly after prosecutors in different jurisdictions declined to file criminal charges against Harrison over accusations of sexual abuse.

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