NewsCovering Kern County


Attorney: Bakersfield man officially files sexual assault report with Bakersfield police against Msgr. Craig Harrison

Posted at 12:05 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 20:20:23-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — An attorney representing a man who is alleging sexual misconduct against Monsignor Craig Harrison confirms with 23ABC that he filed a report Wednesday afternoon with the Bakersfield Police Department.

Earlier this week, 23ABC spoke to Dr. Joseph George, a clinical psychologist and attorney out of Sacramento, representing two men, one from Bakersfield and one from Merced, accusing Msgr. Craig Harrison of sexual abuse.

23ABC contacted the Bakersfield Police Department on Thursday to confirm the attorney filed the report. Capt. Joe Mullins would only say that there was a sexual assault report filed Wednesday, but would not say if it was related to Msgr. Harrison.

When we asked Capt. Mullins if there were any other complaints filed with Bakersfield Police against Monsignor Harrison, he sent us the following statement:

Victims of crime, particularly sexual assault, are entitled to a full and fair investigation by law enforcement as well as the assurance of confidentiality to the extent allowed by law. Likewise, the rights of any accused person require a careful examination of all available facts and evidence with respect for the integrity of the investigation. In order to ensure a thorough and reliable inquiry with the best potential for resolution in the criminal justice system, the Bakersfield Police Department will only release information in active criminal investigations when necessary to further the investigation, when an arrest is made, or in the interest of public safety.

On Tuesday, Dr. George told 23ABC that his client was 13 to 14 years old when he became involved with Monsignor Harrison in Bakersfield. According to George, the alleged victim met Monsignor Harrison prior to him becoming an Assistant Pastor in 1989. The man says he attended St. Francis Elementary and was always around prior to Harrison relocating to Mojave. The man says he was an altar server, serving mass daily for years, five days a week.

23ABC reached out to Harrison's attorney Kyle Humprey about the report filed with BPD today, he sent us the following statement:

We are grateful that you allowed us to comment on this non-story. The attempts to create media cycles and publicity by an attorney slowly leaking information to the press is part of the pattern in these types of attacks on the clergy, the catholic faithful, and due process. The police will issue report numbers when a person insists on having a report made even when it is meritless. We believe as details continue to emerge; they will confirm the lack of credibility of these claims. We remain as confident as ever that we will be able to prove Monsignor Craig’s innocence beyond a shadow of a doubt. We are still hopeful that we will receive the accuser’s name so that we can fully exonerate Monsignor Craig. We welcome a full investigation into these claims, because we know it will prove them to be false.