Convicted Indian priest’s reinstatement upsets victims group

Minnesota: Advocates for clergy abuse victims are criticizing a decision by Catholic Church officials in India to reinstate a priest convicted of sexual assault in Minnesota.

“I think this convicted predator is being put back on the job for the same reason that bishops continue to conceal child sex crimes all across the globe,” says David Clohessy of the victims group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

After he was extradited to the U.S., Fr Joseph Jeyapaul pleaded guilty last year to assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Greenbush, Minnesota, in 2005.

Fr Jeyapaul was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for the 2005 incident where he kissed, grabbed and inappropriately touched a girl on her 16th birthday. But that counted as time served because he’d already spent more than three years in custody.

Clohessy says Jeyapaul should have been banned from ministry permanently, mprnews.org reported February 15.

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Ootacamund told media persons in early February that Jeyapaul’s suspension was lifted following approval from the Vatican.

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