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Former Bakersfield priest reinstated as pastor of Fresno Catholic church

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Posted at 4:35 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-02 19:35:07-05

Former Bakersfield priest Monsignor John Esquivel has been restored to his position at St. Anthony Church in Fresno, after he was placed on administrative leave following allegations of sexual abuse, according to officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno.

The Diocese of Fresno released a message sent to St. Anthony parishioners informing them of Msgr. Esquivel's return on Aug. 31.

Msgr. Esquivel was placed on administrative leave back in June, according to the Fresno Diocese, after allegations against him became public.

According to the Fresno Diocese, two individuals reported allegations against Msgr. Esquivel to the Bakersfield Police Department. BPD has not been able to confirm any records of those charges.

Msgr. Esquivel was assigned to St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Bakersfield from 1983 to 1984.

According to reports from our ABC affiliate in Fresno, a Bakersfield woman publicly accused Msgr. Esquivel of assaulting her as a teenager while she worked at St. Joseph's.