Catholic Diocese: Credible sexual misconduct allegations against two people

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, August 1, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Jackson says it’s giving law enforcement information about a deacon and a former Franciscan brother accused separately of sexual misconduct decades ago.

Spokeswoman Maureen Smith says investigations of Paul West and Rick Caldwell found allegations were credible.

West is accused of sexually abusing a minor during the 1990s, while he was a minister at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Greenwood.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Caldwell is accused of inappropriate sexual contact with a minor during the 1980s, before he joined the church. He was removed June 24 as deacon at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Vicksburg.

Smith said Tuesday she doesn’t know if either has an attorney, or where West is.

She says West left Mississippi shortly after leaving the Greenwood church, and later left the Franciscan order.