Diocese of Rapid City names 21 priests accused of sexual misconduct

Reported misconduct dates back to 1951

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Diocese of Rapid City has released a list of 21 priests accused of sexual misconduct dating back to 1951.

According to a publication from the Office of Bishop, Rev. Robert D. Gruss says the release of the names was “in the interest of transparency and accountability.”

The allegations released are deemed credible “if there is reasonable cause to believe that abuse occurred.” The letter states the reports of abuse came years to decades after the alleged events occurred and “therefore were not capable of an investigation and determination.”

Of the 21 priests, six are accused of more than one allegation, nine are accused of a single allegation, and six are listed as unknown. The list shows priests who have moved within the diocese after abuses were reported.

The most recent allegation was that of Fr. John Praveen who is currently in the Pennington County Jail, awaiting his sentence for sexually touching a minor.

The Diocese of Rapid City says they continue to reach out to victims of childhood sexual abuse to protect youth and vulnerable adults from harm. Anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct by a bishop, priest, deacon or lay employee is invited to contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator by calling 605-209-3418.

The full letter and list released by the Diocese can be found here. 

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