- Associated Press - Monday, June 15, 2015
Minnesota archbishop felled by 2-year scandal over abuse

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Archbishop John Nienstedt’s leadership of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis unraveled over a painful two years.

A church archivist accused him of leaving abusive clergy in parishes and church jobs without warning parents or police. A task force he appointed to investigate confirmed the archdiocese had been negligent. Around the same time, he faced allegations of his own inappropriate sexual conduct, but he didn’t reveal specifics.

Through it all, Nienstedt rejected calls for his resignation. Then, less than two weeks ago, a prosecutor brought child-endangerment charges against the archdiocese, and on Monday, he stepped down.

“I leave with a clear conscience knowing that my team and I have put in place solid protocols to ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults,” Nienstedt wrote in the announcement.

But the Rev. Michael Tegeder, a Minneapolis priest and frequent Nienstedt critic, said the archbishop “came into this diocese without really any empathy” and “undermined so many of the good things that were going on here.”


Priest gets time served, faces deportation in sex abuse case

ROSEAU, Minn. (AP) - A Catholic priest who pleaded guilty last month to criminal sexual misconduct has been essentially sentenced to time served.

The Rev. Joseph Jeyapaul was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in prison in connection with the 2005 abuse of a teenage girl. But he’s been in custody since March 2012, and was given credit for time served. He now faces deportation to India.

As part of the plea deal, charges that he raped another girl from 2004 to 2005 are dismissed.

Jeyapaul came to Minnesota in 2004 and served at Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenbush. He returned to India in 2005 and was brought back to Minnesota last year to face charges.

Vatican officials recommended his removal from the priesthood, but he remained a priest in India.


Judge denies Toyota new trial in fatal Minnesota crash

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge has denied a new trial for Toyota Motor Corp. in a lawsuit resulting from a fatal crash in Minnesota.

U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery ruled Monday the jury reached a reasonable conclusion that an accelerator defect was the key factor in the 2006 crash.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1MXKOL3https://strib.mn/1MXKOL3 ) reports Montgomery rejected Toyota’s arguments and affirmed most of the $11 million the jury awarded the plaintiffs. In addition, the judge added interest that pushes the amount past $13 million.

In February, a jury determined that Toyota was 60 percent to blame for a crash that killed three people and seriously injured two others in St. Paul. Koua Fong Lee, driver of a 1996 Camry, was found 40 percent responsible for the crash.

Toyota says it’s considering its options.


Minnesota state university students may see tuition hike

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Students at Minnesota’s seven state universities may see a tuition hike this fall.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system on Monday released a proposal to increase tuition at state universities by 3.4 percent. The proposal would boost average tuition by $233, to $7,016 a year.

It would be the first tuition hike since 2012 at the system’s four-year universities.

But students heading to Minnesota’s two-year public colleges will be spared any tuition hike this fall. This spring, Minnesota lawmakers mandated a tuition freeze at the 24 community and technical colleges, which means that full-time students will pay an average of $4,816 a year for the fourth year in a row.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1IgEWIBhttps://strib.mn/1IgEWIB ) reports the MnSCU board of trustees is expected to take up the proposal this week.

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