MN- UN Committee on Torture sites Jeyapaul case
For immediate release: Friday, May 23, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
A new United Nations committee report harshly criticizes top Catholic officials for endangering kids and specifically cites the case of a fugitive Minnesota priest who molested at least one girl.
He is Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul who was charged in July 2009 for sexually assaulting Megan Peterson, then of Thief River Falls in the Crookston diocese. He is now in his home country of India fighting extradition.
The UN's Committee Against Torture said of Jeyapaul that they are "concerned by numerous reports of cases in which clergy accused or convicte were transferred to other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors and others who are vulnerable, and in some cases committed abuse in their subsequent placements.”
After he fled the US, and while he faced criminal child sex charges, Jeyapaul was put on the job in India overseeing Catholic schools.
This is just one case of many where the Catholic church refused to protect children and broke international laws and standards of common sense and common decency.
We urge Minnesota bishops to use their resources and clout to publicly and privately push hard to have Jeyapaul brought back here to face justice.
We hope that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes - by Jepayual or other clerics - will call police and prosecutors so that dangerous predator priests can be kept away from kids.
We are very proud of Megan and very grateful for her courage and persistence in exposing jeyapaul and warning others about him We only wish that Catholic officials would work as hard as she has to safeguard other girsl form this dangerous predator
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.