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Rapid City priest pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A priest who served in Rapid City, South Dakota has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing a child.

Thirty-eight-year-old John Praveen was charged last month with sexually touching a 13-year-old girl over her clothes. The Rapid City Journal reports he entered his plea Friday. Bond remains set at $100,000.

The Rapid City diocese earlier offered to house and supervise Praveen at a retirement home for priests in Piedmont, but backed off after some community members objected.

Praveen worked at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City and All Saints Church in Eagle Butte. He belongs to the Holy Spirit Fathers, an order based in Hyderabad, India, that has tried to raise his bail. His arraignment earlier this month was postponed because of the lack of a translator.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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