January 31, 2005

Suit accuses priest of molesting 2 girls


By Jeffrey M. Barker
Record Staff Writer
Published Sunday, January 30, 2005

STOCKTON -- A lawsuit charging a former Stockton priest with molesting two girls while visiting their home has been scheduled for trial next month in San Joaquin County Superior Court.

The suit against the Rev. Francis Arakal and the Diocese of Stockton accuses the priest of fondling two girls in 2001. It also charges another priest and the church with reacting inappropriately when one of the girls attempted to report the molestation.

"Very rarely do these cases get to the point where trials are set," said Anthony Boskovich, a San Jose attorney representing the two girls, who are sisters, and their mother. All three live in Hughson.

Arakal is listed as a parochial vicar for St. Joseph's Church in Modesto.

Attorneys for the Stockton diocese -- Paul Balestracci and Vladimir Kozina, both of Stockton -- and for Arakal, Michael Coughlan of Stockton, each declined to comment on the case.

Posted by kshaw at January 31, 2005 05:37 PM