May 5, 2005
James E. West, a conservative Republican leader of the Washington state senate before he was elected mayor of Spokane in 2003, seems to have got himself into a spot of bother:
Two men have accused Mayor James E. West of molesting them when they were boys and he was a sheriff’s deputy and Boy Scout leader, The Spokesman-Review reported Thursday.
[West] confirmed in an interview with the newspaper that he offered gifts, favors and a City Hall internship over the Web site Gay.com to someone he believed was 18 but who was actually a forensic computer expert working for the newspaper.
West, who as an elected official has opposed gay rights, abortion rights and teenage sex, told the newspaper he had had online relationships in the past year through Gay.com and considered them private… “I wouldn’t characterize me as ‘gay,’” West said.
The Spokesman-Review’s three-year investigation into West—whose Gay.com aliases were “Cobra82nd” and “RightBi-Guy”— developed out of an earlier investigation into clergy sex-abuse in the Spokane Diocese.
You couldn’t make this stuff up.
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