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Valley District Attorneys prepare to audit Catholic Diocese abuse records

The district attorneys of seven counties – including Madera, Fresno, and Kern counties – are preparing to audit the records of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno for cases of alleged sexual abuse.

News of the law enforcement audit was first reported by KQED.

Amid recent abuse allegations leveled at Monsignor Craig Harrison, whose 31-year career spanned Merced, Fresno, and Kern counties, the Diocese announced it would conduct an internal investigation into Harrison.

That comes on the heels of an announcement in March that the Diocese would conduct an independent review of records dating back to 1922.

“The Church as a whole, they don’t have – at this point – credibility to carry forward this kind of an investigation on their own,” Moreno told KQED.

Fresno Bishop Armando Ochoa announced the review would be conducted by former FBI Executive Assistant Director Kathleen McChesney.

Madera County District Attorney Sally Moreno said her agency would review records that could be prosecuted under California’s statute of limitations.

“I think [the Church understands] that they need help demonstrating that they’re being transparent. And if they’re not being transparent, then we’re there to expose that,” Moreno said.

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.