Priest Jailed; Accused of Threats against Reporter
By Brenda J. Breaux
February 23, 1993
NEWPORT, Ky. _ A Covington priest accused of sex crimes against children was arrested Tuesday after being accused of threatening a newspaper reporter.
The Rev. Earl Bierman, 61, was arrested by Kentucky State Police at the Catholic Center in Erlanger. He was being held in the Campbell County Jail in lieu of $ 125,000 bail.
Bierman was charged with terroristic threatening and retaliating against a witness. Police say he threatened Greg Flannery, a reporter for the weekly Mount Washington Press.
Police said the telephone threats were made Feb. 12 to Richard Strunk, who filed a civil suit against Bierman on Dec. 8.
"(Bierman) called Richard Strunk and said that he was getting a gun and was going to take his life and take me with him," Flannery said. "Bierman called me about a week ago and called me a 'no good son of a bitch' and hung up on me."
Like nearly 50 people who have made reports against Bierman, Strunk has said that Bierman sexually abused and molested him when he was 12 to 16. He said the abuse ended in 1982.
Bierman is a former Covington Latin School teacher, associate pastor and nursing home chaplain. Bishop William Hughes removed him from active ministry six months ago.
"We broke the story that people were making charges against Bierman,"
Flannery said. "I don't know if he blames the Mount Washington Press or me personally for breaking the story."
Flannery said Bierman was his teacher when he attended Covington Latin; the priest performed his marriage in 1979.
"I feel sorry for the man," Flannery said. "He is certainly suffering, but I'm glad they got him in custody.
"On my first day of school (at Covington Latin) I was warned by a senior that 'you are going to meet a man name Father Bierman. Don't be alone with him.' "
Bierman was arrested in November on two charges of sodomy against a 15-year-old boy in 1974. The Campbell County grand jury, which is investigating Bierman, is locked in a battle with the Covington diocese over the priest's personnel records.
On Dec. 30, the grand jury subpoenaed the files, which contain church investigative reports and charges against Bierman from parishioners. Diocesan lawyers have gone to the state court of appeals to keep the records on Bierman private. Hughes said he is trying to protect the privacy of alleged victims.
Commonwealth Attorney Lou Ball said the new charges might be presented to the grand jury. The commonwealth is working on a response to the diocese's appeal, he said.
Bierman was expected to be arraigned Wednesday.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems