After three years of investigation, the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Wash., today presented a package of stories that include allegations of sexual misconduct by the city’s mayor, Jim West [right].
The probe grew out of the paper’s reporting on a sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in 2002. Rumors circulated then that West had sexually molested young boys when he served as a Boy Scout leader (and a sheriff’s deputy) in the late 1970s. Two of his closest friends then, one a sheriff’s deputy and the other a Scout leader, committed suicide after those earlier allegations of sex abuse were raised.
Today, the newspaper revealed that Robert J. Galliher claimed in a court deposition that West molested him in the mid-1970s, when he was a boy. A second man, Michael G. Grant Jr., also accused West of sexual abuse during the same period.
From the Spokane Spokesman-Review:
Through the use of public records, court documents, first-person accounts and a forensic computer expert, the newspaper has uncovered evidence that West has led a secret life for more than 25 years. Beyond the serious allegations of sexual abuse, West had been using his position in the Legislature to block gay-rights legislation. And he has been trolling the Internet for young lovers while while serving as mayor of Spokane, offering gifts and favors.