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New allegations surface against defrocked priest

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Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 10:19 am

Former San Andreas priest Michael Kelly faces renewed sex abuse allegations this week after Stockton attorney John Manly confirmed he will press ahead with litigation on behalf of several new clients.

An untold number of accusers have come forward to police and attorneys across three counties after a civil trial against Kelly ended in a $3.75 million verdict last April.

That trial saw Kelly barred from the ministry after the jury found him personally liable for abusing a former altar boy. A criminal case against Kelly was dismissed due to the statute of limitations.

Kelly, who maintains his innocence, fled to Ireland as the civil case was coming to an end, citing stress-related health issues for his departure just days before scheduled liability proceedings against his former diocese.

Manly said he was personally approached by nearly a dozen ex-parishioners and others in recent months, including two from Calaveras County.

He told the Enterprise he’ll be filing criminal complaints sometime in the next few weeks.

Calaveras County sheriff’s deputies were able to confirm an investigation into claims made by one of Manly’s clients who alleges Kelly abused him throughout the 1970s.

Sgt. Chris Hewitt said his case was one of many leads the department has been tracking- since allegations of abuse were first made public in January.

“There was a new victim that just came forward. We forwarded the case to the district attorney and they sent it back for further investigation,” Hewitt said Monday.

Both Hewitt and Manly referred to lag time in the investigation of Kelly cases. Each also suggested that Friends of Father Kelly, an advocacy group that helped fund Kelly’s flight to Ireland, was freighting an already lengthy legal process.

“(Investigations) is way backed-up. (Investigator Wade Whitney) is dealing with an officer-involved shooting while still trying to track down alleged Kelly victims and witnesses,” Hewitt said. “Friends of Father Kelly is just piling-on, emailing him, sending him letters, just hindering his investigation.”

Manly, who handled Kelly’s civil trial last spring, hopes a groundswell of new accusers will help grease the skids of a protracted extradition process that might take years to put Kelly before a criminal trial or grand jury.

“I know (District Attorney Barbara Yook) believes child protection is a No. 1 priority. We’re hoping they’ll do the right thing: extradite (Kelly) and get him charged,” Manly said.

Contact James DeHaven at

© 2015 Calaveras Enterprise. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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  • Ray posted at 10:29 am on Thu, Jul 12, 2012.

    Ray Posts: 30

    This guy goes to Ireland ? and they let him in ? No Statute of Limitations should be be applied to these kind of crimes, convict him then put him in general population.

  • Tim Lennon posted at 10:03 am on Wed, Jul 11, 2012.

    Tim Lennon Posts: 1

    It is a sad fact that child abusers abusers dozens if not hundreds of children. These vile molesters will abuse until they are stopped. Another sad fact is that most victims of child abuse never come forward.

    However, an active community can support victims in a number of ways. 1. Welcome those brave victims who come forward. 2. Vigorously prosecute those who would harm a child. 3. Strengthen the weak California laws protecting children. 4. Encourage the Police and District Attorneys to take aggressive action against those institutions that are complicit in hiding and protecting child molesters and rapists. 5. Promote a vigilant (not vigilante) community who looks after the welfare of children and reports any reasonable suspicion of child abuse, past or present.

  • Mercyneal posted at 8:26 am on Wed, Jul 11, 2012.

    Mercyneal Posts: 8

    The William Ayres blog has a post up, urging victims to come forward:

  • Mercyneal posted at 4:20 am on Wed, Jul 11, 2012.

    Mercyneal Posts: 8

    Hmmm... Jerry Sandusky started out by tickling and wrestling with the boys he eventually molested.

    Michael Kelly also started out by tickling and wrestling boys he eventually molested.

  • Mercyneal posted at 4:18 am on Wed, Jul 11, 2012.

    Mercyneal Posts: 8

    To the anonymous young victim out there who has reached out in the last few weeks: Please come forward to law enforcement. You are not alone.

  • MichaelArkin posted at 6:47 pm on Tue, Jul 10, 2012.

    MichaelArkin Posts: 265

    mike bullard - I come over and help you with the physical labor needed to hang this guy

  • Mike Bullard posted at 10:41 am on Tue, Jul 10, 2012.

    Mike Bullard Posts: 578

    I got a rope and a tree I ain't usin'.