Witness Links West Virginia Bishop To Priest Abuse
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Testimony and argument in the clergy abuse case allegedly link bishop Michael Bransfield, of the Wheeling-Charleston West Virginia diocese, to an alleged predator priest and child abuse in the early 1980’s.
A witness, who says he was raped by a Father Stanley Gana, has testified that Gana put him on the phone with then Father Michael Bransfield, who allegedly said he was going to have the boy sent to him.
And the prosecutor has told the judge another witness is expected to testify Wednesday that Bransfield also brought boys to an infamous farm where Gana allegedly raped multiple boys. And the prosecutor says they have been notified of another incident of fondling by Bransfield.
Neither Gana nor Bishop Bransfield has been charged. And the Wheeling-Charleston diocese has issued a statement saying they don’t react to rumor and stories and it goes on to say, in part, the trial appears to be evolving into a circus, and they, the prosecutors want to smear individuals not on trial, anything to bolster their persecution of the church.