Priest Extradited from India Sentenced to 1 Year for Criminal Sexual Conduct

By Jennie Lissarrague
June 15, 2015

A Catholic priest who was extradited from his native India to Minnesota has been sentenced to one year in prison Monday after pleading guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct back in May.

According to the Roseau County Attorney’s Office, Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul was originally charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2006 for incidents that happened from 2004-2005 while he was a priest in Greenbush and Middle River.

Prosecutors say he assaulted a girl multiple times in 2004 and 2005, starting when she was 14. Jeyapaul was a priest at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenbush, near the Canadian border, at the time.

The attorney’s office says Jeyapaul fled to his native India in August 2005 and continued to serve as a priest. He was arrested in 2012 and extradited to the United States in November 2014. At that time, the additional fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge was filed against him for an Aug. 15, 2005, incident.

Jeyapaul pleaded guilty to the fourth-degree charge on May 22. During Monday’s sentencing, the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge was dismissed.

The Roseau County Attorney says Jeyapaul will be deported to India and will get credit for time spent in custody since March 16, 2012.

The attorney’s office says Jeyapaul’s status as a Catholic priest is unknown.








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