Church lifts ban of Indian priest convicted of sex assault

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A church spokesman in India says the Roman Catholic church has lifted the suspension of a priest convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the United States.

The spokesman said Saturday that the suspension of the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul was lifted last month after the bishop of the Ootacamund Diocese in southern India's Tamil Nadu state consulted with church authorities at the Vatican.

Jeyapaul was suspended in 2010 after he was charged with sexually assaulting a teenage parishioner while serving in a church in Minnesota in 2004. He fled the United States, but was arrested in India by Interpol in 2012 and extradited to the U.S., where he was convicted last year.

Church spokesman the Rev. Sebastian Selvanathan said Jeyapaul had not yet been assigned any responsibilities.