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Priest previously assigned to St. Joseph's Church on paid administrative leave following allegations

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Posted at 2:44 PM, Jun 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 17:58:03-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A priest assigned to St. Joseph's Catholic Church in East Bakersfield in 1983 has been placed on paid administrative leave following allegations.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno, Monsignor John Esquivel was placed on paid administrative leave effective June 20.

The Diocese of Fresno says allegations against Monsignor Esquivel "were released through the secular media on Monday." According to the Diocese, two people reported allegations to the Bakersfield Police Department.

The Diocese of Fresno says the Diocesan Review Board did meet Monday afternoon. However, the Diocese says the Board was unable to make a decision regarding Monsignor Esquivel because the allegations had not been made to law enforcement and/or diocesan personnel at that time.

The Diocese confirms "it has now been verified that two individuals have reported to Bakersfield Police Department."

23ABC has reached out to BPD, however they could not confirm any reports at this time.

Monsignor John Esquivel was assigned to St. Joseph's Catholic Church in East Bakersfield from 1983 to 1984. Monsignor Esquivel is currently assigned to St. Anthony of Padua in Reedley.