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West Virginia AG sues Catholic diocese, alleging a cover-up

Posted at 12:19 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-19 13:29:26-04

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia’s attorney general has sued a local Catholic diocese and its former bishop, claiming they knowingly employed pedophiles.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced the suit against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and Bishop Michael Bransfield on Tuesday.

The suit alleges the diocese and Bransfield chose to cover up arguably criminal behavior and says the diocese employed admitted sexual abusers and priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse without adequate background checks.

A diocese spokesman didn’t return a voicemail message, and no one responded immediately to a voicemail left with a phone number listed for Bransfield.

Earlier this month, Catholic Church officials announced they were imposing ministerial restrictions on Bransfield after an investigation into allegations that he sexually harassed adults and committed financial improprieties. He resigned last year.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)