The XX Factor

Latest Priest Molestation Victim Is a Teenage Girl

June, your hunch about priests molesting girls as well as boys appears to be correct: News broke today about a Roman Catholic priest who allegedly sexually assaulted a Minnesota girl in 2004 . According to the New York Times :

[Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul], who is now working in his home diocese in southern India, is the focus of two cases in which teenage girls said he molested them when he was serving in a diocese in northern Minnesota in 2004 and 2005. Criminal charges were brought in one case in December 2006, charging that the priest had forced her to perform oral sex and had threatened her and her family.

For his part, Jeypaul maintains his innocence. A Minnesota county attorney is trying to extradite him from India. June, you wondered why young women had been left out of the story so far, and I think it’s because the Catholic church so abhors homosexuality. As commenter k8giggles wrote in response to your original post , “[T]he reason they focus so closely on the male victims is that then the church can (very, very wrongly) claim that homosexuality, not pedophilia, is the true sin in this situation.”

Photograph of priest and girl by Photodisc/Getty Images.