A case of a former Franciscan brother under current criminal investigation for raping and physically assaulting African-American children from Mississippi on trips to Appleton and St. Francis, near Milwaukee, is bringing more questions than answers at this point. According to the Associated Press, two black Mississippi men were secretly paid $15,000 each by Franciscan Friars to remain silent about their abuse claims from Paul West. The statute of limitations for Wisconsin is still in effect and Mississippi does not have a statute of limitations. Peter Isley of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says the archdiocese of Milwaukee is not doing what they should to protect child safety right now. He says the reports are credible and that church officials are not acting responsibly.
Isley says West remains in the Appleton area and taught fifth grade at a Catholic school for ten years there in the early 2000s after he left the Franciscan order in 1998. He says he does not know of any pending charges or other active investigations in northeastern Wisconsin.