Indian Priest Convicted of Sexual Abuse Leaves Italian Parish

An Indian priest, Vijay Vhaskr Godugunuru, has left an Italian parish after the Associated Press reported earlier this week that the priest pleaded no contest to charges that he sexually assaulted a Florida minor. As part of the plea deal, Godugunuru was ordered to return to India, obtain counseling, and refrain from any activities with minors. We represented the minor in the civil suit and followed up with a letter to Cardinal Levada inquiring as to the priest’s whereabouts. Levada has yet to answer our letter. However, as part of a worldwide investigation into priests who’ve sexually abused minors and allowed to transfer to a different country, the Associated Press found Godugunuru working in an Italian parish with no restrictions on his ministry. When questioned by the Associated Press, his superiors responded that they believed he was innocent and allowed him to continue working in a parish. He had been working at the Italian parish since 2008. Presently, his whereabouts are unknown and his future priestly ministry has yet to be determined.