STOCKTON -- As a monsignor, Larry McGovern is supposed to be a person Catholics can respect and trust. However, with recent allegations of sexual harassment, it seems that trust has been broken.
According to attorney Vince Finaldi, his client, a parishioner with the Church of the Presentation, claims McGovern sent him sexually explicit pictures.
“It’s extremely disturbing that the person’s who is head of this parish would be sending text with photographs of his exposed genitals,” Finaldi said.
Finaldi claimed his client, who is also a pool maintenance contractor for the church, was sent a text message of McGovern's private parts in July.
“Someone’s who’s engaging in that type of conduct has very, very serious credibility issues and issues with judgement,” Finaldi explained.
Finaldi told FOX40, his client confronted the priest about the explicit photo, asking about the monsignor's celibacy. According to the victim, McGovern responded back, "Oh, that just means that you’re not married."
He added, just earlier this week, the parishioner was fired from his job with the church days before they filed their lawsuit,
In response to the allegations, The Diocese of Stockton released this statement:
“Today the Diocese of Stockton learned for the first time of employment related allegations against Monsignor Lawrence McGovern, the Pastor of Presentation Parish in Stockton. In accordance with the Canon Law of the Church, Bishop Stephen Blaire has placed Monsignor McGovern on administrative leave pending a full and complete investigation.”
However, Finaldi and his client are hoping McGovern is removed entirely.
“That person has no business being in a parish and head of a school where there are numerous young children walking around everyday,” Finaldi explained.