The trial for a former Franciscan accused of sexually molesting students in the 1990s at Greenwood’s St. Francis of Assisi School has been postponed until an undetermined date.
Paul West, who was supposed to face trial on Tuesday, will now have court sometime in the future, according to Kelly Roberts, senior deputy clerk of the Leflore County Circuit Court.
The order of continuance, which was filed by West’s court-appointed defense attorney, Wallie Stuckey, said the trial is “hereby continued to further order of the Court.”
Stuckey said he filed the order because he had not received all the discovery information from the state.
Discovery, which is the process of exchanging information between the law representative about the witnesses and evidence that will be presented to the jury, allows both sides to know what evidence may be presented at the trial before it starts.
The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting.
West was indicted by a Leflore County grand jury in August on two counts of sexual battery and two counts of gratification of lust. If convicted, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
In September, West pleaded not guilty during a brief arraignment court hearing.
The indictments accuse West of sexually abusing cousins Joshua and La Jarvis Love when they were students at the Catholic elementary school, where West worked as a teacher and later principal. The abuse allegedly occurred both on school grounds and on out-of-state school trips.
West has also been accused of, but not charged with, abusing Joshua Love’s younger brother, Raphael Love, who is currently serving two life sentences in a Tennessee prison for a double homicide he committed as a juvenile.
In addition, West is facing a charge in Wisconsin of second-degree sexual assault of a child, according to The Associated Press.
• Contact Adam Bakst at 581-7233 or email@example.com. Twitter: @AdamBakst_GWCW