New Sexual-Abuse Charges against Priest Michael Kelly

Modesto Bee
September 12, 2012

Modesto Bee - Father Michael Kelly of the Saint Joachim Catholic Parish in Lockeford, Calif. Photographed at the Catholic Social Service Guild's CHAIR-ity Event at the SOS Club in Modesto. March 31, 2009.

SAN ANDREAS -- Michael Kelly, a priest found guilty in April of molesting a student at Cathedral of the Annunciation School in Stockton in the 1980s, faces new sexual abuse allegations from his time in Calaveras County.

A civil action against Kelly, the Diocese of Stockton, Bishop Stephen Blaire and Monsignor Richard Ryan was filed Tuesday in San Joaquin County.

The accuser says Kelly sexually abused him as a child in the early 2000s at St. Andrew's Church in San Andreas.

Vince Finaldi, an attorney for the plaintiff, said in a news release, "Father Michael Kelly was known by the Diocese of Stockton to have allegations of sexual misconduct with minors lodged against him in the past. They ignored their statutory duty to report his crimes to law enforcement and placed him in a position of trust and authority as pastor of St. Andrew Parish. There he used his position to sexually assault my client, who was 12 years old at the time of his abuse."

Attorneys for the plaintiff plan a news conference today at 11 a.m. in front of the Stockton courthouse.

In April, a San Joaquin County jury found Kelly committed sexual battery against another victim, decorated Air Force officer Travis Trotter, when he was a minor in 1984-85.

Shortly after the verdict, Kelly fled the United States to his native Ireland and the diocese subsequently settled the case for $3.75 million.

Kelly also had worked in Modesto, Sonora, Ceres and Lockeford.


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