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Former W.Va. Bishop Michael Bransfield Under Investigation for Alleged Abuse of 9-Year-Old Girl on Church Trip

Police in Washington are investigating an allegation that former West Virginia bishop Michael J. Bransfield inappropriately touched a 9-year-old girl during a church trip to the nation’s capital in 2012, according to a subpoena and a person familiar with the matter.

The subpoena, delivered Tuesday to church officials in West Virginia, seeks any abuse complaints against Bransfield as well as documents related to the September 2012 pilgrimage to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, a copy reviewed by The Washington Post shows. The trip was led by Bransfield and attended by parishioners from across West Virginia, church documents show.

Bransfield’s accuser, now 16, told authorities in July that the incident occurred when they were alone in a room at the National Shrine during the pilgrimage, according to the person familiar with the matter, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation. The subpoena indicates that police are investigating potential child sex abuse but provides no details of the alleged encounter.

Read more at the Washington Post