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Former Mother Lode Priest Indicted

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San Andreas, CA — A Calaveras County criminal grand jury has indicted a former Mother Lode priest, Michael Eugene Kelly, on four counts related to sexual acts with a child.

It includes three counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and one count of oral copulation with a child. The indictment was presented to Judge John E. Martin in Calaveras Superior Court yesterday, and he then issued an arrest warrant for Kelly, in the amount of $175,000. The District Attorney’s Office reports that Kelly is living in Ireland, and the office will be working with the Office of International Affairs in Washington, DC to extradite Kelly back to Calaveras County.

“Locating and extraditing Kelly could be a lengthy process,” said Deputy District Attorney Dana Pfeil, who presented the case to the Grand Jury. “However, the indictment handed down by the Grand Jury tolls the statute of limitations so that we will be able to pursue justice for the victim when Kelly is caught and returned to Calaveras County, no matter how long it takes.”

Kelly faces a maximum of 14 years in prison if convicted on all counts. The case was investigated by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.