Attorney: Two lawsuits to be filed against ex-priest Craig Harrison

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A law firm says it will file two lawsuits Wednesday accusing former Bakersfield priest Craig Harrison of sexual abuse and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno of ignoring and concealing his actions.  

Attorney Jeff Anderson invited media to a press conference Wednesday, but wouldn’t answer questions. He wouldn’t say if the suits allege new victims or merely revisit previous accusations.

Craig Edmonston, an attorney representing Harrison in multiple civil suits the former priest has filed against the diocese and others, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Harrison was the subject of multiple investigations after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced in April 2019. Authorities in Bakersfield, Fresno and Merced declined to file criminal charges.

Following its investigation, the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office said the allegations against Harrison “appear credible” but the statute of limitations had expired. Fresno prosecutors said the alleged misconduct within their jurisdiction occurred in the 1990s.

Harrison maintained his innocence and earlier this year resigned from the priesthood.

Last month, a Fresno judge dismissed Harrison’s defamation suit against the diocese. Edmonston said he would appeal the ruling.

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