Washington: An Indian Catholic priest, who was arrested in the US on charges of engaging in sexual contact with a child less than 13 years of age, has been released on a bail of USD 75,000.
    
Father Leo Koppala, from Andhra Pradesh, faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a USD 35,000 fine or both as he was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
    
The 47 year old priest, as per the court order, is not allowed to leave the state of Minnesota, must surrender his passport and must remain law-abiding. The incident happened on June 7 when Koppala was invited over for supper at the location where the child was staying.
    
According to the complainant, Koppala kissed the girl on the cheeks and lips. Koppala also touched her private parts. Koppala told the victim that he loved her, according to the complainant. The adult in the house corroborated the incident.

Before being released on the bail, Father Koppala was kept in the Faribault County Jail in Minnesota for about a month. Besides his service to the church in Blue Earth in Minnesota, he was known for his fund raising activities to help the poor and orphan children in Andhra Pradesh.

(Agencies)

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