In a stunning double loss for former Bakersfield priest Msgr. Craig Harrison, a California appeals court has dismissed two of his defamation lawsuits on the same day.
On Friday, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District handed down two separate rulings rejecting Harrison’s claims for defamation. The court reversed lower court rulings in Harrison’s favor and ordered that he pay attorneys’ fees and other costs in each case.
Harrison had filed the lawsuits in 2019 against Stephen Brady of Roman Catholic Faithful, a whistleblower group that exposes clerical corruption; and Ryan Gilligan, a former monk and associate of Harrison who accused him of homosexual grooming.
This makes Harrison’s third loss in court, after a judge in May 2021 dismissed his defamation lawsuit against the diocese of Fresno.
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