Former diocese of Winona priest to be deported after admitting to fondling girl

Winona Daily News

A former Diocese of Winona priest will be deported after admitting he fondled a girl while attending dinner at her grandmother’s home.

The Rev. Leo Koppala was taken into custody by the Department of Homeland Security after his sentencing Monday and will be held until his deportation proceedings, according to the diocese.

Online court records show Koppala was sentenced to 25 years of supervised probation and ordered to register as a sex offender. He pleaded guilty March 17 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a victim younger than 13. He fondled a girl while he was attending dinner at her grandmother’s home, according to court records.

The 47-year-old Koppala was assigned in 2009 to the Catholic Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Blue Earth and to St. Mary’s in Winnebago. He did not serve in the Winona area.

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