Catholic ex-bishop accused of drunken sexual assault

West Virginia
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WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — 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.

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Information from: The Intelligencer, http://www.theintelligencer.net

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