Published July 14, 2012
PHILADELPHIA – Authorities have re-opened a 2007 fondling complaint against a priest who taught at a suburban Philadelphia high school and is now the Roman Catholic bishop of West Virginia.
The development comes after trial testimony in a Philadelphia priest-abuse case. A trial witness testified that a priest who abused him told him that Bishop Michael Bransfield was sexually involved with a young teen. The witness said he was raped by the priest at Bransfield's beach house.
Bransfield has said he wasn't home at the time. He denies ever abusing anyone.
The 2007 complaint stems from Bransfield's days at Lansdale Catholic High School. The Philadelphia Archdiocese says it did not find the complaint credible, and passed it on to Montgomery County authorities. The archdiocese says the complaint has now been reopened.