Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting 11-year-old girl

Categories: Crime
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Leo Charles Koppala, a 47-year-old priest at the Catholic Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Blue Earth, has been charged with sexual assault following an incident that occurred last Friday evening.

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Koppala was a dinner guest at a Blue Earth home when he allegedly fondled an 11-year-old girl's breasts over her clothes, according to the girl's version of events. During a later conversation with police, Koppala acknowledged kissing the girl on the cheeks and mouth but said "he did not believe he touched her breasts."

The girl told police Koppala said "that when she was done with school he wanted to come to her house so they could be free together... [and] told her that he loved her."

Koppala "admitted that he told [the girl] that they could be free together but explained that he meant something different" than what the girl thought he did, the complaint says.

The two ended up alone in the basement after the girl's relative (later identified as the girl's grandma) excused herself to take a phone call. When they came back upstairs following the incident, the relative could tell the girl "was upset about something." She spilled the beans about what happened after Koppala left.

The Pioneer Press reports that Koppala is known for his fundraising work on behalf of orphans in his native India. The Diocese of Winona has placed him on administrative leave and he is barred from working on behalf of his ministry or living on any parish property while the case in pending.

Koppala has been charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct and faces up to 25 years behind bars.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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16 comments
Trevor Ludwig
Trevor Ludwig

heh, that's MN for you, huh? or does that only work with Wisconsin stories?

Jeff Skinner
Jeff Skinner

Another one?.. Must be something in the water.

Rick Ehman
Rick Ehman

FOUND ANOTHER ONE! String him up!

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Archbishop Nienstadt was quoted* as saying "Well thank GOD it was a girl this time!" *If it wasn't apparent that this is satire, he never actually said this.

Wesley Kuhnley
Wesley Kuhnley

You'd think anyone wearing that collar would be EXTRA careful to not get all fucking creepy on kids, given so many of their cohorts have been caught. Guess not.

Nickolas Firchau
Nickolas Firchau

if i had a dollar for every pedophile priest, id be soooooo rich, scum sucking religious people need to GO.

Matthew Seaton
Matthew Seaton

Yes. the church is rotten. All the way to the core. the Pope. It's the modern day boogeyman.

blainegarrett
blainegarrett

Did this guy used to be the priest in Buffalo?

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