Still standing by Fr. Kelly

November 16, 2012 

Friends of Father Kelly, a group of over 1,200 supporters, appreciates The Sunday Bee article, which shed some clear light on a very conflicted and tragic case. To further community understanding of Michael Kelly's situation, we would like to highlight the following key points:

• These allegations originated in September, 2011. At that time, Kelly voluntarily took — and passed — a polygraph test specifically regarding this case.

• At that time, the Stockton Diocese assigned two investigators to thoroughly research the case. The investigators found nothing to support the allegation and submitted their report to the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department.

• The Sheriff's Department opened a criminal case, but after more than a year no criminal charges were ever filed. In fact, no criminal charges have been filed in connection with any accusation against Kelly.

• Kelly continues to deny any wrongdoing, saying he is innocent and standing by the results of the polygraph test he passed 13 months ago.

Our support group sympathizes with all victims of sexual abuse. However, we firmly believe in Kelly's innocence in light of his long pastoral service in communities within this diocese and his personal history and relationship with members of our group.

PAUL NEUMANN

volunteer with Friends of Father Kelly

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