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.

But in earlier this year, Catholic officials confirmed that Fr. Jeyapaul's suspension had been lifted by the Vatican.

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:

In 2006, Fr. Joseph Jeyapaul was accused of abusing a Minnesota girl.

In 2007, that girl, Megan Peterson, filed a civil suit against him.

In 2014, prosecutors successfully extradited Fr. Jeyapaul from India.

In 2015, Fr. Jeyapaul pled guilty and was later sent back to India.

In 2016, Peterson settled her suit.


(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


Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])

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