Catholic Church

Christina Lopez / Valley Public Radio

A new lawsuit has been filed in Fresno County Superior Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno and two of its churches for negligence and sexual battery. Although the plaintiff reported abuse in 2002 and the priest was acquitted, a law that took effect this year means she can still seek damages.

The plaintiff is now 34 years old, and referred to as Jane Doe, since the alleged abuse took place when she was a minor. She says that Father Miguel Flores raped and threatened her in 2001 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Hanford where she worked. 

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

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno has been under pressure the last few months to release its own list of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse. Although a list hasn’t been released yet, the diocese is rolling out a settlement program for survivors. Some attorneys who represent survivors find it to be strategic and controversial. 

 

Christina Lopez / Valley Public Radio

There are at least 43 priests within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno who have been accused of sexual abuse or misconduct, according to a report released this week by a national law firm.

 

The data collected by Jeff Anderson & Associates exposes the "enormous magnitude" of the intentional cover-up of allegations of sexual abuse by the diocese.

 

On this week’s Valley Edition: Allegations of sexual abuse against a popular valley priest have led to a vocal outpouring of support for him that some argue prevents victims from speaking out. Later, we learn about a student art project that tells the stories of survivors of sex trafficking.

And we talk to the creators of a new graphic comic book that gives readers a picture of Fresno’s redlining history and how that plays out today. We also meet Fresno’s new Poet Laureate Marisol Baca.  

Listen to those stories and more on the podcast above.