Blue Earth Priest Put on Leave
Mankato Free Press
June 11, 2013
A Blue Earth priest charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl has been put on leave.
The Rev. Leo Charles Koppala will not be permitted to exercise his public ministry or live on the property of the Diocese of Winona pending the outcome of the legal process, according to the diocese.
The diocese also said in its news release that it has received no other allegations of this nature involving Koppala, a priest of the Nellore Diocese in South India. He is on loan from the Indian diocese and has been in the Winona diocese for fewer than five years.
Koppala, 47, had previously worked at a different church in the diocese, though a diocese spokesman was out of the office and said he wasn't sure where it was.
Koppala is accused of kissing a girl on the lips and touching her chest and lower back above her clothes.
"Definitely, all of us in the diocese are praying for the little girl and her family," said Joel Hennessey, director of mission advancement for the diocese. "It's a very unfortunate and difficult situation. So our prayers are definitely there."