New Accusations Arise against Lockeford Priest

News 10
September 27, 2011

Father Michael Kelly

SACRAMENTO, CA - New allegations have come to light against a Lockeford priest.

The accusations against Father Michael Kelly were not specified in a statement release by Bishop Stephen Blaire.

Bishop Blaire wrote: "This is the first information we've received about the accusations. We have not yet had an opportunity to speak to the claimant who is now an adult."

Kelly was previously accused of molesting a child back in 1984, which came to light in September 2007.

Stockton police and the diocese tried to investigate the claim, but the alleged victim did not cooperate. With no evidence, Kelly was reinstated in March 2008.

Tuesday night, many parishioners at Saint Joachim Catholic Church in Lockeford were shocked by the allegations about Father Kelly.

"For me, Father Kelly is a good person," one parishioner said.

"There's no evidence," another parishioner Cynthia said. "We shouldn't worry about ituntil they have enough evidence against him."

"This is a tight-knit community," Lockeford resident George Galatsatos, Jr. said. "Only 2,700 people and usually you'd hear something about it. And we've never heard nothing. He's always been a good man."

Kelly will remain an active priest while the church investigates the claim, Blaire said. The Calaveras County Sheriff's Department is also investigating the claim.

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