Minn. priest guilty of abuse in US is deported to India

A priest who was convicted of fondling a 12-year-old girl while he was working in the Diocese of Winona has been deported to his native India.

Explore the full investigation Clergy abuse, cover-up and crisis in the Twin Cities Catholic church

Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement say 48-year-old Leo Charles Koppala was turned over to authorities in New Delhi on Wednesday.

• Related: Priest jailed, accused of fondling girl (June 2013)

Koppala was charged last June with second-degree criminal sexual conduct. He pleaded guilty in March, admitting he fondled the girl while eating dinner at her grandmother's house.

The Diocese of Winona has said Koppala was assigned in 2009 to the Catholic Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Blue Earth and to St. Mary's in Winnebago. He was placed on leave in June, and the diocese alerted his home diocese of Nellore, India.

• Related: Winona diocese names 14 priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse (December 2013)

ICE says Koppala didn't contest his deportation.

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