Second Woman to Sue Crookston Diocese over Alleged Abuse

By Stephen J. Lee
Grand Forks Herald
June 14, 2012

Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul

A second woman plans to sue the Catholic Diocese of Crookston over what she says was sexual abuse in 2005 by the Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul, according to the attorney representing her.

Jeffrey Anderson put out a news release Tuesday saying he would hold a news conference today in St. Paul.

The woman hasn’t been named and no criminal charges against Jeyapaul involving her have been filed.

Known for winning hundreds of millions of dollars in sexual abuse lawsuits, often against Catholic Church entities, Anderson represented Megan Peterson. Last year, Peterson, now 22, settled a $750,000 law suit against the Crookston diocese over what she said were violent sexual assaults by Jeyapaul in her parish in Greenbush, Minn., when she was 14 and 15.

Jeyapaul came to the diocese in late 2004, on loan from his bishop in India. Complaints against him involving Peterson and another girl came to the diocese’s attention in August 2005, but Jeyapaul had returned to India by then, saying he had to visit his ailing mother.

The girl, who was 16 at the time, exchanged letters with him in which he indicated he had acted improperly with her, but loved her.

It appears to be that woman, now in her 20s, who plans to file the second lawsuit against the diocese.

She may appear with Anderson today at the news conference, according to an associate of Anderson.

Monsignor David Baumgartner, vicar general of the diocese, told the Herald Tuesday he did not have a comment on Anderson’s announcement.

Jeyapaul faces criminal charges by the Roseau County attorney’s office related to Peterson’s allegations. He was arrested in India in March, and the U.S. Department of Justice is seeking his extradition to Roseau County.

Reach Lee at (701) 780-1237; (800) 477-6572, ext. 237; or send email to








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