Former Priest Sentenced in Sexual Abuse Case

May 21, 2010

A former priest who entered an Alford plea in a sex abuse case now knows his punishment.

A Franklin County judge sentenced Rev. Joseph Muench Friday morning.

Muench was sentenced to one year for unlawful imprisonment charges and one year for criminal intent to commit sexual abuse.

This comes after Muench entered an Alford plea in March in the case, which stems from allegations in the 1980s.

He originally faced two counts of first degree sexual abuse, but those charges were amended to first degree unlawful imprisonment and criminal attempt to commit sexual abuse.

Muench's attorney told the judge that he entered the plea because he felt it was the right thing to do.

Muench was suspended in July, 2009 from his duties at Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary. That came after an internal investigation by the Diocese of Lexington, which was prompted by a Louisville attorney representing three men who made the abuse allegations.

Muench's attorney asked the judge for a probation sentence, saying his client wasn't a threat to anyone in the community.

However, the judge denied that request. He is to report to the Franklin County Detention Center Monday morning at 8.

According to statements from the Diocese, the incidents of misconduct happened during Muench's tenure at Good Shepherd in Frankfort. He was the associate pastor there from 1984 to 1986.


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