NewsCovering Kern County


Monsignor Craig Harrison maintains his innocence, says Diocese is not supporting him

Posted at 2:46 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-24 15:46:18-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Monsignor Craig Harrison is maintaining his innocence in a statement issued through his lawyer, Kyle Humphrey, saying the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno is not supporting him.

In the statement, Monsignor Harrison says each day has been "agonizing." Monsignor Harrison says he has been waiting to share his side with the Diocese. He says he last spoke to the Diocese on April 24 when he was "called to the Bishop's office" and told of the allegations.

Monsignor Harrison says "this is a battle that I am left to fight without support from the Diocese." Monsignor Harrison claims "over the past month, while the Diocese investigated the accusations against [him], they never once reached out to [him] for [his] side." He says "neither Bishop Ochoa, Bishop Brennan nor any member of the Diocese has checked on [his] state of mind or welfare."

Monsignor Harrison says he "will be returning to [his] home in Bakersfield shortly to assist [his] attorney in proving [his] innocence." Monsignor Harrison says he is "innocent of all accusations."

23ABC has confirmed a total of four accusations have been made against Harrison, two from Firebaugh, one from Bakersfield and one from Merced.

Merced Police say they submitted their investigation into the 1988 accusation against Harrison to the Merced District Attorney's Office earlier this week.

The Diocese of Fresno released a statement in response to Harrison's Letter saying,

Msgr. Harrison is aware that we are in transition from Bishop Ochoa retiring and Bishop Brennan being installed as our new Bishop. Bishop Brennan will be in contact with Msgr. Harrison. In the meantime, Msgr. Harrison knows that he can also initiate contact at any time to set an appointment to meet with the Bishop.