Louisville Courier Journal
October 11, 2002
I am writing this letter concerning the Sunday, Oct. 6, article regarding two abuse investigations involving Father Joseph Herp. The portion of the article that disturbs me concerns the second to last part on page 4 that is titled "Another allegation" and deals with the 1981 arrest of Marvin Carney Jr.
The article insinuated that Herp's intervention into this arrest ultimately led the case to be dismissed and for a guilty man to go free. The article also went on to say that Louisville police officers advised the then county social worker to "forget" the case, and as a result thereof, the charges were eventually dropped.
Maybe I am dreaming, but I vividly recall representing Carney, trying the case before a judge, with media present (including The Courier-Journal), and getting a directed verdict at the conclusion of the commonwealth's case, thus exonerating my client completely of all charges brought by the state.
Though memories fade after 21 years, I don't ever remember anyone telling me to go home and forget about trying this case because some priest or the archdiocese decided that it was not responsible for the government to proceed against a deacon of the Catholic Church. The government prosecutors, the Louisville Police Department and this defense attorney all did their jobs correctly, and it was a judge, and not anyone else, who made the final determination in this case.
If someone is trying to bury a man, at least do so with the shovel facing up.
JERALD K. STEINBERG
Attorney at Law
As the story reported, felony charges of child sex abuse against Carney were dropped after the witness recanted his story. There was no trial on those charges. In the case the letter writer refers to, a judge later dismissed two, separate misdemeanor charges against Carney for allegedly providing pornographic material to a minor, according to Jefferson District Court records. That case was not mentioned in the story. - Editor.
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