Priest Abuse Alleged

Tracy Press
October 11, 2007

A Catholic priest who once worked in Tracy is on leave and denies accusations of child sexual abuse.

A Lockeford priest who was once assigned to St. Bernard’s Catholic Church has been accused of child sexual abuse, according to reports published Thursday on newspaper Web sites.

Stockton Police Detective Roseann Clark confirmed Thursday that the Diocese of Stockton told the department that the Rev. Michael Kelly was recently accused of sexual abuse of a child sometime between 1984 and 1986. She said Kelly has not been arrested and detectives have yet to follow up on the accusation.

“The victim was not the one who made the initial report,” Clark said. “We’re still in the process of trying to contact the victim.”

The Lodi News Sentinel reported Thursday that the Diocese of Stockton has put Kelly on administrative leave while it investigates the allegation. Kelly told the newspaper that he is on leave for health reasons and said he has never sexually abused any child or adult.

Kelly is the pastor of St. Joachim Catholic Church in Lockeford and was a priest at the Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton at the time the alleged abuse took place. He has also served parishes in Modesto and Sonora.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.