Father Michael Kelly, a long time priest of the Diocese of Stockton, has been indicted by a grand jury on three counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child and one count of oral copulation. Kelly, who has not been defrocked, faces up to 14 years in prision.
The District Attorney's Office will seek to extradite Father Kelly from his native Ireland, where he fled in 2012 after a civil jury found him liable for sexually molesting a child. The Diocese of Stockton ultimately settled that case for 3.75 million dollars. The lawfirm Manly, Stewart & Finaldi represented the victim in the suit. Since that intitial lawsuit, two more victims of Father Kelly have come forward and filed cases against the Diocese of Stockton.
Father Kelly continues to assert his innocence, but so far has not agreed to return willingly. While the District Attorney's Office acknowledges that the extradition process can be slow, they state that the statute of limitations is tolled during such proceedings, thereby ensuring that each of Kelly's victims will be able to bring their criminal cases.