Abuse Allegations False

The Roman Catholic bishop of West Virginia wrote in an email to supporters Monday that he is grateful that two men have come forward to defend him against allegations that he sexually abused one of them in the 1970s, and that their assertions provide proof that he's innocent. In an email to clergy, parishioners and employees of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Bishop Michael Bransfield said he has never abused anyone. The letter also was posted on the diocese website. It comes after allegations surfaced during a recently completed Philadelphia priest-abuse trial in which a witness testified that a priest who abused him told him that Bransfield was sexually involved with a young teen. The alleged victim and another man told The Philadelphia Inquirer in a story published Sunday that the allegations were false. Bransfield remains under investigation for another claim, which he denies.