AP NEWS

Ex-W.Va. bishop accused of drunken sex assaults

March 29, 2019

WHEELING — A new lawsuit accuses the former bishop of a Catholic diocese in West Virginia of molesting adolescent and adult males.

Michael Bransfield’s former personal altar server sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and its former leader last week, saying he was sexually assaulted in 2014 and harassed for years prior.

The filing asserts Bransfield would consume nightly at least a half bottle of Cointreau liqueur and drunkenly assault or harass seminarians.

Last year, the diocese released a list of 31 priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct since the 1950s. Bransfield was not included.

A diocese spokesman declined to comment to The Intelligencer. Earlier this month, the state’s attorney general sued the diocese and Bransfield, saying they covered up criminal behavior.

Bransfield resigned in September amid allegations of sexual misconduct.