More 'Credible' Allegations Emerge Against Charlotte Diocese's Former 2nd-In-Command
The Catholic Diocese of Charlotte says it’s found additional credible allegations of sexual misconduct against its former second-in-command, Monsignor Mauricio West.
West resigned as vicar general and chancellor of the diocese in March after an allegation of sexual misconduct emerged against him. That allegation involved a student at Belmont Abbey College in the 1980s, when West was vice president of student affairs at the school. The diocese found that to be a credible allegation.
Now, the diocese says there are four additional allegations against West from the 1980s and 1990s. A news release says all of the allegations are credible.
Two involve students at Belmont Abbey in the 1980s. A third allegation involves an employee at the House of Mercy in Belmont in 1991. A fourth involves an employee at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in Charlotte in 1993.
The diocese says all of the victims were adults when the alleged sexual misconduct occurred. A diocese news release says sexual misconduct “involves boundary violations and inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature.” Each incident was described by victims as unwanted kissing and, in one case, touching on the thigh as well. According to the diocese, West has denied the allegations. He has been on leave since March as a result of the initial allegation of sexual misconduct.
"Personally, and on behalf of the Diocese of Charlotte and Belmont Abbey College, we extend our sincere apologies to all who have suffered from sexual abuse and misconduct by clergy. Both the diocese and college have zero tolerance for sexual abuse or misconduct of any kind," the release says.
Bishop Peter Jugis announced in May that the diocese is committed to releasing by the end of 2019 a list of clergy who are credibly accused of sexual abuse involving minors. That list and what it represents is the subject of a four-part series, The List, that begins Monday on WFAE.org.