Rapid City priest accused of sexual misconduct pleads not guilty
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The latest on court proceedings for a Rapid City area priest suspect of sexual contact with a minor. CRIME DETAILS
John Praveen pleaded not guilty Friday to two counts of having sexual contact with a child under the age of 16.
He served in the Rapid City diocese until his arrest last month. Praveen, who is from India and is a member of the Holy Spirit Fathers, had his arraignment postponed due to translation issues.
He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.
Diocese searching for housing for Rapid City priest accused of sexual misconduct
Rapid City Catholic church leadership is no longer trying to reduce the bond for a priest accused of having sexual contact with a minor.
The Casa Maria in Piedmont was considered a possibility, but it was shot down because of its proximity to nearby schools.
In a statement from the Diocese of Rapid City, they stress that they want to be as open as possible in this process.
Praveen is from India and is a member of the Holy Spirit Fathers. He’s been in Rapid City since last November doing ministry work. To be selected, Praveen had to pass a background check and Safe Environment Training.
Praveen will be back in court on Friday, Nov. 16.
Rapid City priest hears charges in sexual contact case
A Rapid City priest accused of having sexual contact with a minor appeared in court Wednesday to hear the charges brought against him.
John Praveen, 38, is accused of having sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl on Sept. 3 and Sept. 28.
If convicted, Praveen is facing up to 30 years in prison and could face deportation.
He is in the United States on a work visa from India and has been with the Diocese of Rapid City since 2017.
Praveen’s representation stated in court that English is not his primary language, and when Judge Scott Bogue asked if Praveen understood what was being said, he responded, “Not completely.”
According to Father Brian Christensen with the Diocese of Rapid City, Praveen “can understand English” but says it can be a challenge at times.
Praveen is in custody, held on a $100,000, cash-only bond.
The story has been corrected for the name of the judge