South Dakota priest pleads guilty to sexually touching girl

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) _ A priest who served in Rapid City, South Dakota, has admitted to sexually abusing a child.

Thirty-eight-year-old John Praveen pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually touching a 13-year-old girl over her clothes last year. The Rapid City Journal reports Praveen’s lawyer, John Murphy, says prosecutors will drop another count against Praveen under a plea deal.

Murphy says prosecutors also agreed to ask that Praveen be sentenced to local jail time and probation, not prison. Sentencing is scheduled for April 4.

Praveen worked at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City and All Saints Church in Eagle Butte. He had worked at Our Lady of Perpetual Help since June until his arrest in October. He belongs to the Holy Spirit Fathers, an order based in Hyderabad, India.

Praveen remains in jail.

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