US: Indian priest pleads guilty to sexually assaulting girl

Washington: An Indian priest has pleaded guilty to the charges of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old American girl in the US state of Minnesota in 2005.

Rev Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul, 60, was extradited to the US last November from India in connection with the case and could face up to 15 years in prison with sentencing scheduled for June 15. Jeyapaul had fled to southern India in September 2005 after he was accused of molesting the girl.

Wanted in the US on sexual assault charges, he was arrested by the Indian Police in March 2012. He pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in one case. The victim, now 25, had accused Jeyapaul of forcing her to touch him and abusing her.

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