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Bakersfield Police Department

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Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer has appointed Lyle Martin to be her Chief Investigator. Martin has been the Chief of Bakersfield Police since 2016, and has worked for the department for more than 30 years.

Martin announced his retirement as police chief on the department’s Facebook page in a video posted this morning. Assistant Police Chief Greg Terry will serve as interim police chief when Martin’s retirement takes effect December 28.

Christina Lopez

A Valley priest who has been the target of several sexual abuse allegations is suing the founder of a Catholic organization for defamation. 

According to the civil lawsuit, filed through Kern County Superior Court earlier this month, Stephen Brady, founder of Roman Catholic Faithful, made statements about Msgr. Craig Harrison that were “false, defamatory, libelous and slanderous.” 


Monica Velez / Valley Public Radio

A Reedley priest who was accused of sexual abuse by two women earlier this week was put on paid administrative leave Thursday, officials at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno confirmed.


Sylvia Gomez Ray, 52, spoke publicly about the alleged abuse she experienced in the 1980s from Msgr. John Esquivel on Monday in front of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bakersfield. At the time, Gomez Ray was a secretary at St. Joseph’s.