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Published April 14, 2010, 10:43 AM

Prosecutor asks Pope's Help in Returning Priest

A Minnesota prosecutor is asking Pope Benedict XVI to help get an Indian priest back to the U.S. to face sexual assault charges.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota prosecutor is asking Pope

Benedict XVI to help get an Indian priest back to the U.S. to face

sexual assault charges.

Roseau County Attorney Lisa Hanson mailed Benedict a letter

Tuesday raising the case of the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul

(JAY'-uh-paul). Her office is pursuing his extradition on charges

he assaulted a 14-year-old female parishioner while serving at a

Catholic church in Minnesota in 2004.

Jeyapaul returned to India before charges were filed in early

2007 and continues to serve in the Diocese of Ootacamund. He denies

the allegations.

The Vatican's U.S. attorney calls the appeal for papal

intervention inappropriate.

Jeffrey Lena says the case is a civil matter concerning an

extradition treaty between the U.S. and India.

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