KEYC - Mankato News, Weather, Sports - - Blue Earth Priest Facing Sexual Assault Charges

Blue Earth Priest Facing Sexual Assault Charges

Posted: Updated:
BLUE EARTH, Minn. -

A priest at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth has been charged with fondling an 11-year-old girl. 
 
Father Leo Koppala's name still remains on the Marquee at his church in Blue Earth, despite facing second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.

The Diocese of Winona has placed Koppala on administrative leave, saying in a statement that they had not received complaints on his conduct in the past, and that he was from the Nellore Diocese in southern India.

The alleged incident happened last week at the home of the girl's grandmother where Koppala had been invited to dinner.

A criminal complaint filed in Faribault County says after dinner the young girl went downstairs to watch television. It goes on to accuse the 47-year-old Koppala of grabbing the girl, kissing her, touching her breasts, adding that Koppala told her that when she was done with school, he wanted them to... quote... "be free together."
 
Koppala could face up to 25 years in prison if convicted.