Clergy abuse: Priest returns from India to face charges; convicted priest faces new charges


Two priests who were accused of sexually abusing children in separate incidents will soon be in court facing charges. Here's a summary of the cases.

Priest extradited from India to face Minnesota charges

After five years of legal wrangling in American and Indian courts, a Catholic priest who is accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Minnesota 10 years ago has been sent back to the U.S. from his native India to face those charges.

The Associated Press reports the Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul (pictured above) arrived in Minneapolis on Monday, and is expected to travel to Roseau County Tuesday to make an initial court appearance.

Jeyapaul, 59, is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual misconduct for allegedly molesting the girl multiple times in 2004 and 2005. Jeyapaul was serving at Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenbush in far northern Minnesota at the time. He has denied the allegations, according to the Associated Press.

Jeyapaul served in northern Minnesota for about a year, then returned to India in 2005, saying he needed to care for his ill mother. He has remained in India since then.

The Crookston Diocese learned of the allegations against Jeyapaul in 2005, and the following year another teenager also accused him of abuse, the Star Tribune reports.

Roseau County Attorney Karen Foss has been seeking Jeyapaul's extradition from India since 2009. He was arrested there in 2012 and has been in jail since then. Jeyapaul has been "filing motions to appeal the extraditions since then,” Foss said, according to the Star Tribune.

A New Delhi appeals court denied Jeyapaul's latest motion to remain in his home country a few days ago, leading to his extradition.

More charges against convicted priest

Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer (shown at left), who is serving a five-year prison sentence for sexually abusing two boys while he was the pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul, has been accused of molesting another teenage boy in western Wisconsin.

Prosecutors in Chippewa County have charged Wehmeyer with one count of second-degree sexual assault, after a 21-year-old man recently told police that Wehmeyer assaulted him while they were on camping trip together in 2011, MPR News reports.

The man, who was in his teens at the time, told a sheriff's deputy in March of this year that he and the priest were in a camper at Brunet Island State Park in Estella, Wis., when Wehmeyer gave him alcohol and marijuana.

The teen fell asleep, and woke up later to find Wehmeyer in bed with him, touching his genitals, according to MPR News.

Wehmeyer, 50, is incarcerated at the state prison in Lino Lakes after he pleaded guilty in November 2012 to criminal sexual conduct for abusing two boys while he was pastor at Blessed Sacrament.

Some of the abuse occurred inside his camper, which was parked in the lot next to the church. He was also convicted of possessing child pornography.

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