Vatican: Cooperated with extraditing Indian priest - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Vatican: Cooperated with extraditing Indian priest

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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican says it has cooperated with U.S. law enforcement officials working to extradite an Indian priest charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Minnesota.

In a statement to The Associated Press, Vatican attorney Jeffrey Lena says the Holy See had handed over the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul's address in India.

Jeyapaul told the AP on Monday that he is innocent and has no plans to return to the U.S. to face charges.

Lena says the Vatican had recommended Jeyapaul be defrocked, because it believed the charges were serious enough, but that his local bishop in India refused.

The bishop, the Most Rev. A. Almaraj of the diocese of Ootacamund, said he had disciplined Jeyapaul by sending him to a monastery for prayer.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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