MN- Convicted priest deported to India, Victims respond
For immediate release: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A Catholic priest who has worked in Minnesota and was convicted of child sex crimes has been deported back to his home country of India. He is Fr. Leo Charles Koppala.
This is not the first predator priest from India who has worked and abused in Minnesota. Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul raped a Minnesota girl, Megan Peterson, just a few years ago. He returned to India and until recently, oversaw a group of schools there, even though his bishop knew he was a fugitive from justice. He's being extradited now.
Kids are more at risk of sexual violence in the developing world and that is why we hope Catholic officials will do all they can to warn unsuspecting families about this dangerous man. Bishop John Quinn of the Winona Diocese claims he alerted Catholic officials in Nellore, India about Fr. Koppala. We hope Quinn actually followed through and we hope serious action is taken by Indian church officials to ensure that Fr. Koppala is kept away from children.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.