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‘Abusive priest must face sex abuse probe’
Published on 7 Apr. 2010 11:40 PM IST
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The Catholic archbishop of Madras-Mylapore, Most Rev. Malayappan Chinnappa, on Tuesday said the Ooty priest facing charges of sexual abuse of minor girls in the US should face the investigation there, reports Times News Network.
Commenting on the case of Rev Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, who is accused of sexually abusing two minor girls while serving at the diocese of Crookston in Minnesota, US, in 2004, the archbishop said, “Now the priest has to oblige, return to the US, if necessary, for further investigations. There is no way out.”
Most Rev. Chinnappa added that he had also asked the Bishop of Ooty to comply with the demands of the case. Rev. Jeyapaul, while denying the charge, said he didn’t even know one of the two accusers against him and that he was ready to go to the US, if he was wanted there, to prove himself innocent.
“I am not guilty and of course the allegations against me are false,” Jeyapaul said. He said he had volunteered to serve in the US in 2004. Though his tenure with the US diocese was three years, he returned to India within a year.
The priest said that during his 12-month tenure in Minnesota, he had spent three months working with another pastor and he had served for the parish people in the diocese only for nine months. “As my mother was ailing at that time, I was forced to come back to India,” he added.
Referring to one of the charges, he said, “I remember the girl who had come for confession with one of her friends. That is all I know about her.” But in respect of the other charge, he said, “I don’t even know that girl. How can they charge me? I am ready to go to the US, if I am wanted, and prove myself.” He alleged that money could be the motive behind the charge.

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