The conviction of Paul West in connection with sexually abusing Catholic students was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in Mississippi. Reports say the former Franciscan friar sexually abused the students at school and on trips to New York and Wisconsin.In 2019, La Jarvis Love and his cousin, Joshua Love, accused former Franciscan friar Paul West of several instances of sexual abuse when they were students at St. Francis of Assisi School in the city of Greenwood in Mississippi.
An article in Fox News states that the former Franciscan friar left the order when he returned to Wisconsin after leaving Mississippi in the late 1990s. However, in September 2020, the former Franciscan friar was extradited back to Mississippi to face the sexual abuse charges filed against him.
Almost a month after the former Franciscan friar was convicted, the St. Francis school announced its shutdown after more than 70 years of being established. The decision came after the sexual abuse case resulted in a sudden decrease in donations and enrollment.
Franciscan Friar’s Conviction Affirmed
According to an article in AP News, on August 1, in a split decision, a majority of the Court of Appeals in Mississippi found no reversible error in the conviction of the former Franciscan friar, now 63. The Court then affirmed the April 2022 conviction of the former Franciscan friar where he was found guilty of one count each of gratification of lust and sexual battery. Thereafter, the former Franciscan friar was sentenced to 15 years and 30 years for the two counts which were to be served simultaneously.