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Minnesota diocese pays abuse settlement; accused priest still active in India

Catholic World News - September 07, 2011

The Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, has paid $750,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a woman who says she was raped as a child there by a visiting priest from India.

The accused priest, Father Joseph Jeyapaul, served in Minnesota in 2004. After returning to India, he was charged with two counts of sexual abuse. The victim who won the $750,000 settlement, Meghan Peterson, says that she reported the rape to diocesan officials but was ignored.

Under the terms of the settlement the Crookston diocese agreed to contact the Diocese of Ootacamund in India, where Father Jeyapaul is now serving, to express concern about his continued public ministry.

The accused priest insists that he is innocent of the charges, and to date his Indian diocese has defended him against allegations. Prosecutors in Minnesota are seeking to have him extradited to face the criminal charges.

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