Woman Sues Crookston Diocese, Says Priest Abused Her in 2004 in Greenbush

Crookston Daily Times
July 6, 2009

Crookston - A woman has filed suit against the Catholic Diocese of Crookston, alleging that in 2004, when she was 15, a priest at her parish in Greenbush, Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul, sexually abused her. The suit seeks damages in excess of $50,000.

The media was alerted to the case by The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests of the Twin Cities (SNAP). The support group states that church officials “knew or should have known” about Jeyapaul’s “dangerous and exploitive propensities.”

The priest briefly served in Thief River Falls and then Greenbush in 2004, then returned to his native India, where he remains today. It’s believed that he is aware of the civil suit.

In September of 2005, then Bishop Victor Balke withrew the “invitation” to Jeyapaul to be a priest in the diocese, which technically amounts to a suspension.

The woman is represented by Warroad attorney Steven Anderson, who filed the suit Friday morning in Roseau County Court. He’s working with attorney Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul – they are not related. Jeffrey Anderson is known for the hundreds of millions of dollars he’s sought and many times won from dioceses across the country in sexual abuse cases.

SNAP also issued a statement from the woman, which read, “When the abuse was hapening, I felt overwhelmed and scared. Now, I still feel scared sometimes. But I want to help people who’ve been hurt by child sex abuse and I don’t want them to feel alone. I also want church officials to be held liable for tehse crimes and this predator to be prosecuted and removed from the priesthood so he can’t molest others.”


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