The Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office obtained an arrest warrant Monday for a popular former Mother Lode priest accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy.
The Rev. Michael Eugene Kelly, a Catholic priest who served for a decade in Tuolumne County and as head pastor at St. Andrew’s Church in San Andreas from 2000 to 2002, was indicted by a criminal grand jury on four molestation charges.
Kelly was last known to be living in his native Ireland. He fled the United States in April 2012 after being found liable of child sex abuse in a separate civil lawsuit brought by a former parishioner.
The indictment was presented to Calaveras County Superior Court Judge John E. Martin, who issued the warrant for Kelly’s arrest and set bail at $175,000 should he be returned.
Kelly faces a maximum of 14 years in prison if convicted on all accounts, the statement said.
“Locating and extraditing Kelly could be a lengthy proce
ss,” said Deputy District Attorney Dana Pfeil, who presented the case to the grand jury.
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