Settlement reached in unprecedented MN/India case
Statement by David Clohessy of SNAP, 314 566 9790
In an unprecedented victory, a victim of a convicted child molesting cleric has forced Catholic officials to promise in writing to keep him out of ministry.
She has also won an agreement that the predator "not have access to youth" and have his "faculties" - permission to act as a priest - "suspended or revoked." For five years, the priest’s bishop must also "provide yearly status updates" of the priest's "location and ministerial status" (and for six years, provide "semi-annually status updates") unless or until the priest is defrocked.
We applaud this incredibly brave, compassionate and persistent victim, Megan Peterson, for taking extraordinary steps to protect kids from Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul, formerly of Crookston Minnesota and now of the Ootacamund diocese in India, where he was ordained.
In 2015, Fr. Jeyapaul pled guilty to child sex crimes in Minnesota and was later sent back to India.
That decision, we believe, clearly shows that Catholic officials continue to put their own selfish needs ahead of the safety of children.
Again, we applaud Megan for safeguarding the vulnerable. And we beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Jeyapaul to follow Megan’s example and protect kids by calling law enforcement.
Here’s a more specific timeline:
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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.