Lawsuit Claims Former Minnesota Priest Returned to Ministry
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Catholic priest deported to India after completing his sentence in Minnesota for sexually abusing a child is a part of a new lawsuit against a diocese in India that allegedly returned him to ministry with Vatican approval.
Attorney Jeff Anderson filed the federal lawsuit in Minnesota for Megan Peterson. She says the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul abused in 2004 when she was 14 or 15 and he was at her church in Greenbush, Minnesota.
Peterson said Tuesday she felt re-victimized when the Ootacamund Diocese bishop lifted Jeyapaul's suspension in February. She seeks damages of more than $75,000.
Jeyapaul pleaded guilty last year to molesting one girl. Under the plea deal, charges of molesting Peterson were dismissed. The diocese in India did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.