A representative with the Rapid City Catholic Diocese says the church will cooperate with investigations into a priest accused of sexual contact with a minor.
Local law enforcement arrested thirty-eight year old John Praveen Tuesday morning.
Law enforcement say an investigation began over the weekend when an alleged juvenile victim came forward with sexual contact allegations.
Father John Praveen is an associate pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City.
He’s charged with two counts of sexual contact with a Child Under 16, which is a class three felony.
Father Brian Christensen with the Rapid City Diocese says law enforcement interviewed Praveen Monday evening and arrested him the next day.
“Whatever those allegations are, we’re happy to cooperate and come to the truth of that," Christensen says. "But yeah, is it a surprise? For sure.”
Christensen says Praveen moved to western South Dakota from India last November. Praveen spent some time in Eagle Butte, before relocating to Rapid City.
“So, his training was in India, his formation was in India. Before he came, we did a background check on him and all of that and he’s gone through our safe environment training here,” Christensen says. “He’s signed our code of conduct for the Diocese of Rapid City. But he’s certainly relatively new to our community.”
The case has been handed to the Pennington County State’s Attorney’s office, who could not be reached for comment.