Michael Kelly, an Irish priest who formerly ministered in Lockeford, California says that he did not sexually abuse a 12-year-old former altar boy in about 2000.

'I am completely and totally innocent of these allegations; they are utterly untrue,' Kelly said in an email to the News-Sentinel. 'Never, ever, did I do anything of the sort to the plaintiff, or to anyone else, for that matter.'

According to the News-Sentinel, Kelly was responding to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by a now 24-year-old man who was an altar boy in San Andreas when Kelly was the lead priest there.

The suit alleges that Kelly, who has now returned to his native Ireland, sexually abused the plaintiff more than a decade ago.

In addition to Kelly, Saint Andrew Parish in San Andreas, Stockton Diocese Bishop Stephen Blaire and Monsignor Richard Ryan are all reportedly named in the lawsuit.

According to the suit, both Bishop's Blaire and Ryan conspired to allow Kelly to remain in his ministry despite knowledge of several past allegations against Kelly.

Former priest Michael KellyGoogle Images