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Lawyer Accuses Fresno Catholic Bishop of Threats in Sexual Misconduct Case

Bishop Joseph Brennan is accused by a lawyer in Bakersfield of threatening retaliation against his client. (GV Wire File)

Bakersfield attorney Kyle J. Humphrey said he would present evidence at a news conference Wednesday morning that Bishop Joseph Brennan of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno threatened retribution and punishment unless the Bakersfield priest Craig Harrison, drops a defamation lawsuit, which focuses on allegations of sexual misconduct.

Humphrey issued a press release Tuesday saying Brennan threatened to initiate formal process under canon law, the Catholic Church’s old legal system, unless Harrison dropped his lawsuit.

Harrison was placed on paid administrative leave after being suspended from pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in April 2019. He has denied ever committed sexual inappropriateness.

A diocese spokeswoman said no statement would be made for Brennan on Tuesday.

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