Catholic Priest Now Faces 9 Years in Prison for Sexual Abuse
By Andrew Koubaridis
Warwick Daily News
June 30, 2017
A Catholic priest is facing an additional two years in prison after a sentencing hearing in Meade County Thursday for sexually abusing a boy at a summer camp in the 1970s.
Father Joseph Hemmerle, 74, who was serving seven years for the sexual abuse of another victim, was sentenced to an additional two years in prison as well as eight years of probation.
Hemmerle pled guilty to his charges on May 17 in Grayson Circuit Court. The case involved allegations by a man who said Hemmerle sexually abused him while he was a boy at the camp in the summers of 1977 and 1978, according to a copy of the plea agreement.
Hemmerle's additional charges come seven months after he was convicted in Meade County of sexually molesting a boy in the 1970s at the same location, Camp Tall Trees at Otter Creek Park, which the Archdiocese of Louisville ran until 2002.
In 2014, the Meade County Circuit Court Clerk said the charges indicate the first victim was under 12 years of age. During the trial of the second case in 2016, it was revealed that another victim was 10-years-old.
Hemmerle, who served at various parishes and taught at Trinity High School, served as director of the camp from 1970 to 2001.
Hemmerle will be eligible for parole after the first two years of his sentence, according to Ernie Rutherford, the chief deputy at Meade County Detention Center.