Bishop Testifies in Priest Abuse Case

The Record
March 22, 2012

Bishop Stephen Blaire

Diocese of Stockton's Bishop Stephen Blaire testified Wednesday in a civil trial involving a local priest accused of sexually molesting an altar boy in the mid-1980s.

Blaire, the church's highest-ranking local official, confirmed certain facts about the diocese and a report of sex abuse made by the plaintiff's father in 2006.

The plaintiff, a 37-year-old Fairfax man, said he recovered repressed memories that year, and said he remembered being groomed and raped by Kelly while he served at Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton.

Kelly was on the stand Tuesday and Wednesday.

Blaire's testimony in San Joaquin County Superior Court was short. Most of his testimony will be heard in a second phase of the jury trial.

The first phase - currently in progress - is focused on Kelly's actions, and the subsequent phase is to determine if the diocese is liable based on its handling of Kelly.

Kelly, pastor at St. Joachim's Church in Lockeford, admits he acted inappropriately by roughhousing, tickling and playing games with children. But he denies having sexually abused anyone.

Testimony continues today.








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