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CBS News: Father Craig Takes the Stand in Fresno Clergy Sex Abuse Trial

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From CBS 47:

On Thursday, attorneys for the church called a key witness to the stand. Father Rod Craig grew up in Wasco and attended the church where two brothers claim they were sexually abused by a priest for 14 years.

Father Craig said he not only knew George and Howard Santillan but was good friends with them and grew up with them.

On the stand, Father Craig said that he didn’t believe then and still does not believe today that for 14 years the brothers were being abused by their Wasco priest, Monsignor Anthony Herdegen. He said that he too was an alter boy and never saw any suspicious behavior but at one point he conflicted himself on the stand after some probing by the plaintiff’s attorney. Father Craig said, “Sometimes Monsignor would give us long hugs after serving mass… It was longer than I was comfortable with but never inappropriate."

That statement also conflicts with a statement Father Craig made in his deposition where he said he did find Monsignor Herdegen’s behavior suspicious and he had feelings but never had any proof that anything suspicious was going on.

Closing arguments could begin in the case as early as next Wednesday.