Priest Found Liable For Abuse Leaves Country

By: Ja'Mein Beale - Tue, 17 Apr 2012 13:32:46 -0800

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) - A Central Valley Catholic priest found liable in a civil trial for the molestation of an altar boy has left the country as the trial continues.
     
The Diocese of Stockton said it received a letter from Michael Kelly on Monday in which the priest said he had returned to his native Ireland. Kelly cited health problems from the stress of the trial.
     
A civil jury found Kelly liable earlier this month for three counts related to child abuse. The alleged victim, who is now 37, said Kelley abused him in the 1980s when Kelly was a priest at Cathedral of Annunciation in Stockton. Kelly has denied the allegation.
     
Kelly was scheduled to testify on Tuesday in the second phase of the civil trial. That phase was to focus on the diocese's handling of the case.
      

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
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