Following a joint investigation conducted by the Rapid City Police Department and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, a Catholic priest has been arrested after making sexual contact with a minor.
On October 2nd, local law enforcement arrested 38-year-old John Praveen (AKA John Praveen Kumar Itukulapati) for two counts of Sexual Contact with a Child Under 16, a class 3 felony which carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine on each count.
The investigation began on September 30th, when a juvenile victim came forward to report the incidents. The investigation revealed that Praveen made sexual contact with the child on two separate occasions. Praveen has served as a temporary priest within the Rapid City area since early summer of 2018.
“This is obviously an ongoing, high-priority investigation,” says Captain Corey Brubakken of the PCSO Criminal Investigations Division. “If there is anybody out there that may have information relevant to this investigation, we would encourage them to contact Investigator Jesse Fagerland at 394-6115.”
This case has been forwarded to the Pennington County State’s Attorney Office for prosecution. Any further comment on this case will come from their office.
The RCPD and PCSO would also like to extend their appreciation to leadership of the Rapid City Catholic Diocese for their cooperation during the investigation.