Priest Accused of Abuse Won't Face Charges in Fresno County

February 14, 2020

Courtesy: KBFX


FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) — The Fresno County District Attorney's Office has decided it will not file sexual assault charges against Monsignor Craig Harrison, citing the statute of limitations.

Even so, "the allegations made against Monsignor Harrison appear credible to investigators," a news release from the District Attorney's office reads.

The office had been investigating sexual misconduct accusations dating back to the 1990's, while Harrison had been assigned to a church in Firebaugh.

But the allegations were not reported to law enforcement until April of 2019.

"The District Attorney’s decision is based upon the statute of limitations that applies to criminal cases. A different statute of limitations may apply to civil actions," says a news release.

In November, the Merced County District Attorney decided not to file charges.

Merced Police had received reports in April 2019 of incidents of inappropriate touching by Harrison, dating back to 1987 and 1988, when he was assigned to a church in Merced.

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office worked with the Merced Police Department on the investigation.

"Both agencies concluded that all available evidence and leads had been identified and exhausted," reads a news release from the Merced D.A.'s office. "Based upon the factual circumstances of this case, the filing of charges is prohibited by the applicable statute of limitations; therefore, no charges will be issued."

In July, Bakersfield Police Department decided not to pursue charges against Monsignor Harrison.

Harrison had been on administrative leave from a parish in Bakersfield.

FOX26 News has reached out to the Diocese of Fresno to find out Harrison's status, but we have not heard back.

This is a developing story.

Stay with FOX26 News and as we update this story.








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