Victims group protests reinstatement of convicted priest in India

Advocates for clergy abuse victims are criticizing a decision by Catholic church officials in India to reinstate a priest convicted of sexual assault in Minnesota.

After he was extradited to the U.S., the Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul pleaded guilty last year to assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Greenbush, Minn., in 2005.

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A spokesperson for the Diocese of Ootacamund told The Associated Press that Jeyapaul's suspension was lifted following approval from the Vatican.

David Clohessy of the victims group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests says Jeyapaul should have been banned from ministry permanently.

"I think this convicted predator is being put back on the job for the same reason that bishops continue to conceal child sex crimes all across the globe," Clohessy said, "simply because they can."

Jeyapaul was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for the 2005 incident where he kissed, grabbed and inappropriately touched a girl on her 16th birthday. But that counted as time served because he'd already spent more than three years in custody.