Br. Paul West

Order: OFM
Status: Convicted

Diocese: Diocese of Jackson MS

On 7/29/2018 the Jackson diocese announced a credible allegation that West had sexually abused a minor while working at St. Francis of Assisi in Greenwood, where he was teacher and principal 6/1993-11/98. On diocese’s list 3/19/2019. Abuse reported in 1998 and 2018. Accused of abuse of two brothers and their cousins starting when they were ages 9 and 10 and St. Francis students in the mid- to late 1990s. The abuse reportedly included rapes and beatings. One of the three also alleged abuse by Bro. Donald Lucas, OFM. One boy told church and police in 1998; West was sent for a psych evaluation. He taught 4th and 5th grades at St. John’s in Little Chute, WI 1999-2010. Left the Order in 2002. The Franciscans settled with two accusers for $15K. The alleged victims filed a federal suit in 11/2019 claiming the Order pressured them into a small settlement requiring their silence. Indicted in 8/2020 in MS. Pleaded not guilty. Charged also in WI. Suit in 6/2021 claims racial discrimination. Convicted 4/13/2022. Sentenced to 30 years on one count and an additional 15 years on a second count.

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