Franciscan Monk who Transported and Abused Children from Mississippi also Spent Time in Philadelphia

A priest who has transported children across state lines in order to abuse them also worked and abused in Philadelphia. Now, we are asking the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia to get involved in the investigation into his crimes and determine if there were others in the Philadelphia area who were hurt.

In a detailed investigation by the Associated Press published this week, two men who say they were raped and physically abused by Paul West, 59, were brought as children to Wisconsin on multiple occasions where West sexually assaulted them. West was a member of the Franciscan Friars Assumption, a Catholic religious order headquartered in Franklyn, Wisconsin. 

The alleged assaults occurred in Mississippi and Wisconsin over several years, from the mid to late 1990's.

Now we have learned that West also spent time in Philadelphia, and fear that he may have abused others there. According to his employment history, West worked for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1989 to 1992. Additionally, according to personal testimony from his survivors in Mississippi, West raped both La Jarvis and Joshua Love during a stop-over in Philadelphia on a return trip from New York. Transporting a child across state lines for the purposes of committing a sex act is a federal crime punishable no less to 10 years in prison, up to life.  

Due to these factors, we believe that the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania should begin investigating these crimes and determine if any federal charges can be brought against West for his actions in Philadelphia.

West appears to have been released from his religious order in 2002, however he does not appear on a list of credibly accused clerics published by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Archbishop Charles Chaput should immediately add West to this list of credibly accused clerics and also publicize the information about West in parish bulletins, church announcements, and on his website in order to encourage victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers to come forward and make a report to police and prosecutors.

“As a representative for SNAP in Philadelphia, I receive many calls from survivors on a weekly basis. Our goal is to offer support, options and empowerment to promote healing. If any victim of Br. West needs to talk, please know we are here and we believe you.

Contact: Michael McDonnell, SNAP Philadelphia, (267.261.0578 [email protected]), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant