Salinas Priest Expected in Court to Challenge Molestation Case

By Susanne Brunner
April 15, 2011

SALINAS, Calif. - A Monterey County Priest accused for sexual abuse is expected in court Friday, April 15th. Father Edward Fitz-Henry, former priest at the San Juan Bautista Mission, is scheduled to make an appearance in Superior Court in Monterey County at 9 am to challenge the Complaint.

On January 7th, an alleged victim wrote a letter to the Diocese of Monterey claiming Father Edward Fitz-Henry sexually abused him or her while he was a priest at Madonna Del Sasso Catholic Church. Tom Riordan with the Diocese of Monterey said the diocese immediately took action, suspending Father Fitz-Henry from preaching at his current church, the San Juan Bautista Mission.

On February 15th, Fitz-Henry's attorney Carolyn Ingalls-Keely said, "He completely denies ever having any inappropriate contact with any sort with this young man. He's shocked by these allegations. He has no idea what the basis is."

The victim's attorney, Vince Finaldi, said that his client met Father Fitz-Henry at Madonna Del Sasso back in 2005 and says he was abused by the father that same year.

In response to the court appearance on Friday, Finaldi said they expect to defeat the challenge.


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