• New sexual misconduct allegation surfaces at Charlotte Catholic church

    By: Allison Latos

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Channel 9 has learned of a new allegation of sexual misconduct in a Charlotte Catholic church.

    Monsignor Mauricio West was the chancellor of the Diocese of Charlotte until he resigned in March after allegations that he made unwanted advances toward a student at Belmont Abbey College in the 1980s.

    A second man told anchor Allison Latos it happened to him on campus, too.

    "This is something I have been living with for over 40 years," said the accuser, who did not want to reveal his identity.

    He said the incident occurred while he was a seminary student and West was a member of the administration.

    Monsignor Mauricio West (center)
    Monsignor Mauricio West (center)

    (Monsignor Mauricio West)

    "He was the vice president for student affairs, the dean of students and I was seeing him for a disciplinary matter," he said. "I was in his office, and he kissed me inappropriately."

     

     

    The accuser said he didn't tell anyone for years, but he decided he could no longer stay quiet after the Diocese of Charlotte announced in March that West, the second highest in command, was resigning as chancellor over a sexual misconduct allegation at Belmont Abbey College.

    "I just blurted out, 'He did it to me, too,'" he said. "I'm coming out to encourage victims, a minor or an adult, to come forward and get some justice."

    He alerted Belmont Abbey and said the Diocese Lay Review Board investigated his claim.

    So far, he's heard nothing, and he wants the church to take action.

    "No one has contacted me from the diocese to say, 'I'm sorry this happened to you' or expressed any regret. That is most disturbing," he said. 


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    A Belmont Abbey spokesperson told Channel 9 they can't comment.

    West was chancellor of the Diocese of Charlotte for 25 years.

    After the first allegation surfaced, Bishop Peter Jugis said West denied the accusation and no criminal charges have been filed.

    Officials said that, while West is still a priest, he cannot perform duties.

    Response from Diocese:

    "Allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual abuse by clergy brought to the diocese are referred to the Lay Review Board to be independently investigated. It is the policy of the diocese not to comment on any allegation unless the investigation finds it to be credible.

    "As you know, Monsignor West stepped down in March after a finding by the Lay Review Board of a credible allegation involving misconduct with an adult.

    "The Church had no formal guidelines for addressing unsubstantiated allegations 40 years ago – but we do today. For nearly two decades, the diocese has had rigorous protections, reporting policies and safe environment training in place to help guard against abuse and misconduct. We are committed to transparency and accountability and are doing everything we can to promote healing for victims and for the Church."

     

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