May 24, 2005

Priest Cleared Of Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Daily Planet

Father George Crespin returned to the pulpit Sunday, two days after Oakland Diocese officials cleared him on charges that he sexually molested a boy more than 30 years ago.

In a letter handed out to parishioners Sunday, Bishop of Oakland Allen Vigneron wrote that a diocese review board found the available evidence “insufficient to support the allegation made against Father Crespin.”

Diocese officials were not available Monday to answer whether the accuser, whose identity the diocese has withheld, would have the opportunity to appeal the ruling.

According to parishioners, Father Crespin, 69, told those at mass on Sunday that he was overwhelmed by their support and prayers.

“It was just jubilation,” said Sharon Girard, who attended the mass. “We all believed in him. I never doubted him for a moment.”

In February, the diocese placed Crespin on administrative leave while it investigated an accusation from a man who said Crespin sexually abused him in 1984, while Crespin was a priest at Our Lady of the Rosary in Union City.

Posted by kshaw at May 24, 2005 05:59 PM