Priest's Sentencing Delayed

United Press International 1993
June 24, 1993

Sentencing for a priest, described as having an incurable sexual attraction to young boys, was postponed for a week Wednesday while a judge studies options to prison requested by the defense.

Commonwealth attorney Lou Ball recommended three concurrent 20-year prison sentences for the Rev. Earl Bierman, 61, who has admitted to sexually abusing six boys in the 1960s and 1970s.

However, Clay Shea, Bierman's lawyer, wants the priest sent to a treatment center in New Mexico that treats priests with such problems.

Campbell County Circuit Court Judge William Wehr had expected to sentence Bierman on Wednesday but delayed a decision until he could read Shea's 31-page brief.

Dr. Michael Hartings, a clinical neuropsychologist, said Bierman has an incurable sexual attraction to young boys.

He called Bierman a "psychotic character," who knows society considers having sex with boys wrong.

"(But) he will never think it was wrong," Hartings said of Bierman.

Shea presented four witnesses who said Bierman was mentally incapacitated and should be sent to the treatment center.

"My feeling is that he will probably die in a penitentiary," she said.

"It's a death sentence. The other inmates will kill him if he doesn't commit suicide."


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