2014 March

Mar 31, 2014: Diocese Says Former Blue Earth Priest Will Be Deported After Pleading Guilty to Sexual Abuse

WINONA, Minn. — A Minnesota priest was taken into custody at his Monday sentencing and will be deported after admitting he fondled a girl while attending dinner at her grandmother’s home.The Rev. Leo Koppala will be held by the Department of Homeland Security until his deportation proceedings and likely sent back to his native India, according to a statement from the Diocese of Winona said.Koppala pleaded guilty March 17 to second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a victim younger than 13. He was sentenced to 25 years of supervised probation and ordered to register as a sex offender.The…

Mar 27, 2014: Fired St. Paul Teaching Assistant Sent Suggestive Messages to Students, Police Say

An eighth-grader reported last month that a teaching assistant at her St. Paul school sent her a nude photo of himself, made comments about her leggings and her butt, and asked her to meet to “find a secluded place where they could kiss,” according to a police report about the now-fired staffer.The girl said “she did not agree to … since it felt ‘weird’ or ‘wrong,’ ” the report said.

Mar 24, 2014: Archbishop Chaput’s Misleading Words No Substitute For Positive Action

Talk is cheap. In the case of Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles J. Chaput, talk is also cynical, misleading and hurtful.Chaput apologized to survivors of clergy sex abuse during a homily at a “Mass for Healing for Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse” Saturday in Philadelphia. Chaput also acknowledged the negligence of the “church’s pastors” in allowing the abuse to occur. What Chaput didn’t do – and hasn’t done – is take action to help sexual abuse survivors. In fact, he’s taken actions that hurt them. Let’s take a look at what Chaput hasn’t done. He hasn’t supported extending the Penns…

Mar 22, 2014: Winona Diocese Ordered to Turn Over Documents on Accused Priests

The Diocese of Winona must release all files it kept on priests accused of abuse, the latest update in a sprawling case against both the diocese and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that continues to grow.A Ramsey County district judge this week ordered both the Winona diocese, as well as the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, to disclose their documents on priests by March 31. The documents may never see the light of day, at least not at first — they will be sealed and available only to the attorneys.The documents will “really show what the bishops knew, when they knew it, an…

Mar 21, 2014: Teacher Involved in Minnesota Sex Assaults Convicted in France

Years after allegations of sexual abuse in northern Minnesota, a French teacher has been convicted in France. Adrien Massy from Angers, France was in the Bemidji area back in 2010 when the assaults took place.A French court convicted Massy of sexually assaulting two metro area boys, a 10 and 11 year old while on a field trip. He was working as a foreign exchange teacher employed by the French Academy of Minnesota which is in St. Louis Park. The assaults took place while students were on a field trip at the Concordia Language Camp in Bemidji.”I continue to grieve for the children and their fami…

Mar 19, 2014: Judge: Archdiocese Must Yield Info on ‘Credibly Accused’ Priests

A Ramsey County judge ruled Tuesday that the Twin Cities archdiocese must turn over by March 31 documents related to its priests “credibly accused” of child sexual abuse.Names and biographical information on those 34 priests were disclosed in December, but attorneys for a plaintiff known as Doe 1 sought church documents that the archdiocese so far has refused to release.Judge John Van de North wrote in a memorandum that Minnesota has a “long tradition of liberal discovery and a generous definition of relevance for purposes of gathering facts prior to trial.”

Mar 17, 2014: Court Rules for Duluth Diocese in Documents Lawsuit

A judge on Monday tossed out portions of two lawsuits seeking to force the Diocese of Duluth to release documents detailing child sexual abuse cases.Sixth Judicial District Judge David Johnson ruled that the plaintiffs cannot pursue the release of the documents through private and public nuisance claims. Counts charging the diocese with negligence in its handling of sex abuse cases will remain open.

Mar 08, 2014: News Release: Crosiers Add 11 New Names to List of Credibly Accused

The Crosier Province voluntarily released this week an updated list of priests and brothers with credible child sexual abuse allegations.  The first list was previously disclosed in 2002 and Friday’s release included 11 new names of priests and brothers with one or more credible claims of child sex abuse. This is a promising step forward. We encourage the Crosiers to take the next step and release…