Stockton Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

October 12, 2007

(CBS13) STOCKTON A Stockton priest is accused of sexual abuse decades after the alleged activity took place. Tonight, I spoke with the priest's lawyer who talked about why the accuser is only now coming forward.

The priest has a congregation in Lockeford, but the molestation allegedly happened at a cathedral in Stockton more than 20 years ago. The anonymous victim, now 33, says Father Michael Kelly molested him while he worshiped at the Cathedral of the Announciation.

"But the church is running scared because they've had so many of these claims," says Al Ellis, Kelly's attorney.

Ellis says the victim's family contacted the bishop in Los Angeles with the allegations and that bishop contacted Stockton. Kelly was immediately placed on administrative leave. Since there have been multi-million-dollar settlements around the country by the Catholic Church, Ellis is concerned about the victim's motive.

"The Catholic Church has been the lottery machine for a while and not saying there have not been viable and good claims that have been settled and resolved," said Ellis.


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