Trial Date Set for Catholic Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse
November 20, 2014
The trial date is now set for an area Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse.
Father Joseph Hemmerle is facing six counts of sodomy and three charges of sexual abuse.
The allegations date back decades, from the 1970s.
His accuser first came forward in May and Hemmerle was placed on leave from the ministry.
Hemmerle appeared in Meade County Court Thursday morning for a pre-trial conference.
Both the defense and prosecution agreed on a trial date of Sept. 23, 2015.
This isn't the first time he's been accused of sex abuse.
In 2002, the former Trinity High School teacher was cleared of wrongdoing for another sex abuse allegation, also stemming from the 1970s.
The most recent alleged victim said he was under the age of 12 when the abuse happened at camp.
He was not in court Thursday, but his family members were present.
They didn't want go on camera, but a representative from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says the court process is long, but necessary.
“We want to be sure that for the victims, the truth comes out and that justice is served. If Father Hemmerle is innocent then he certainly deserves his day in court to present his side and it's up to the jury to decide who they believe,” said Cal Pfeiffer with SNAP.
WLKY tried to get a comment from Hemmerle and his attorney, but they declined to speak with us.
Hemmerle has another pre-trial conference scheduled for July.
Hemmerle is currently out on bail.