Suspension Lifted against Former Greenbush, Mn Priest Convicted of Sexual Abuse
February 19, 2016
Greenbush, MN (Valley News Live) “Shocking”, that’s how a former, Clay County prosecutor describes the decision by the Catholic Church, to lift the suspension of a former northwestern Minnesota priest.
Sixty-one-year old Father Joseph Jeyapaul, plead guilty and was convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct, involving a teenage girl at Greenbush, Minnesota.
Now, he’s back in his native country of India, and the Church has lifted its suspension against him, which could allow him to work in the church again.
Father Joseph Jeyapaul plead guilty to 4th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct for abusing a teenage girl at his residence, next to the Catholic Church in Greenbush, Minnesota.
Jeyapaul wound up serving 4 years in prison, before being sent back to his native Country of India, where now, church officials have lifted a suspension against him. It will be decided in May, whether Jeyapaul will begin working in the church again.
Heidi Davies, Former Clay Co. Prosecutor: “It’s shocking really, because we sent him back as a sex offender. I did check with the Investigator this morning, and he said nobody from the Catholic Church contacted him. They didn’t do anything in the way of contacting law enforcement or me to learn anything about him or his case.”
The church’s decision to lift the suspension against Jeyapaul, seems to fly in the face of Pope Francis’s pledge to tackle the problem of sexual abuse by priests.
Minneapolis Attorney, Jeff Anderson represents victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, including the Greenbush victim.
Jeff Anderson, Attorney for Victim’s: “Now he’s back in the ministry with the permission of the Vatican. So, the promise the Pope made has now been violated and this is a gross and dangerous, and reckless violation by the Papacy, the Pope and the Bishop in India allowing Jeyapaul to be even approximate to children.”
And investigators say it’s very doubtful the Greenbush case is the only incident in Father Jeyapaul’s past, since he was 49-years old at the time and sexual predators don’t begin at that age.
Father Jeyapaul was also charged with a second criminal sexual conduct case in Greenbush. That case was dropped, because of lack of evidence.