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Attorney: Crookston diocese settles priest abuse lawsuit

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The attorney for a sexual assault victim said Monday that the Diocese of Crookston has settled with his client for $750,000.

Jeff Anderson said in a statement that he's holding a press conference Tuesday in St. Paul to announce terms of the settlement, which includes "outreach and child protection measures" in Crookston and in India.

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The Catholic priest allegedly responsible for the abuse, Joseph Jeyapaul, is in charge of 40 schools there, according to Anderson. The Crookston diocese would be required to warn Catholics in India under the settlement.

Jeyapaul said in 2010 that he's innocent and, if extradited, would leave his homeland to fight the charges in the United States.

Roseau (Minn.) County authorities charge Jeyapaul with sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl in 2004 when she came to pray at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenbush, Minn. He left for India in 2005. Charges were filed in 2006.

Anderson, who has filed various clergy sexual abuse lawsuits against the Catholic Church, said the victim, now 21, will identify herself at the press conference and release a petition showing that Jeyapaul is still working with children in India.

The press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. Tuesday at the offices of Jeff Anderson and Associates, 366 Jackson St., Suite 100, St. Paul.

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