NewsCovering Kern County


Merced District Attorney reviewing sexual misconduct case against Monsignor Craig Harrison

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Posted at 11:22 AM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-29 17:14:59-04

MERCED, Calif. — An investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Monsignor Craig Harrison is now in the hands of the Merced District Attorney's office.

According to the Merced County District Attorney's Office, the Merced Police Department turned over its completed investigation, 23ABC has learned.

In April, a 46-year-old man told Merced Police that Harrison had inappropriately touched him in the late 1980s. According to Lt. Jay Struble, the man claims sexual misconduct occurred one time and not on church grounds in 1988. Struble said his department is not releasing where the incident occurred for the integrity of the investigation.

Records from the diocese show Harrison served at Our Lady of Mercy, and St. Patricks Catholic Church in Merced from 1987 to 1989.

Kyle Humphrey, Harrison's attorney, released a statement saying that they're "happy that the Merced Police Department has forwarded their portion of the investigation" to the DA. Humphrey added that he was told by the police department that it submits all cases to the District attorney for review regardless of the lack of merit in such accusations.

Last month, the Bakersfield Police Department decided to not forward its sexual battery investigation on Harrison to the Kern County District Attorney's Office. BPD said, "After a thorough investigation, we have not identified any allegations of criminal behavior with corroborative evidence."

The Merced D.A.'s office will now review the investigation and decide if charges will be filed against Harrison.