A former Winona priest convicted of fondling a 12-year-old girl has been deported to his native India.
Immigration officials say 48-year-old Leo Koppala was turned over to authorities in New Delhi on Wednesday. Koppala was charged last year and pleaded guilty in March.
On June 8th, 2013, the Blue Earth, Minnesota, Police Department arrested Koppala and charged him with second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The victim was 12 years old at the time of the offense.
Koppala was convicted March 31 at the Faribault (Fair-Boh) County District Court at Blue Earth of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and was sentenced to 31 days, with credit for time served, and 25 years supervised probation.
Following his criminal conviction, Koppala was relieved of his ministry and discharged from service by the Archdiocese of Winona, which also alerted the bishop of his home diocese in Nellore, India.
Any action to have Koppala removed as a priest from the Catholic Church must be effected by his diocese in India and the Vatican.