Prosecutors to Audit Fresno Catholic Diocese Files for Potential Sex Abuse Cases

District attorney offices throughout the Central Valley are banding together to audit the Catholic Diocese of Fresno’s review of its own records for cases of possible sexual abuse, according to Madera County District Attorney Sally Moreno. 

At least seven counties, including Fresno and Kern, have agreed to review files or receive cases for prosecution in their jurisdictions.

Earlier this year the Fresno Diocese announced it would conduct an independent reviewof clergy files dating back to 1922 and release a list of priests accused of sexual misconduct, an effort that other Catholic dioceses around the country have made in recent months.

The diocese hired former FBI Executive Assistant Director Kathleen McChesney, of Kinsale Management Consulting, to go through the diocesan records.

Moreno said she aims to make her own determination about whether the review is handled properly. Prosecutors from her office will identify records that could be handed over to law enforcement and cases that can still be prosecuted under the state’s statute of limitations. Those that involve priests who are currently active in the community will be a high priority, Moreno said.

“The Catholic Church as a whole, they don’t have — at this point — credibility to carry forward this kind of an investigation on their own,” Moreno said. “I think they und...

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