Former St. Margaret Mary pastor arrested in Florida

August 22, 2015

[with video]

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. —Former St. Margaret Mary pastor Stephen Pohl is expected to be arraigned Saturday following his arrest Friday evening in Florida.

According to arrest documents, Pohl was booked into jail in Pinellas County just before 9 p.m. Friday on a charge of possession of child pornography.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said he learned of the investigation into Pohl on Aug. 12 and placed Pohl on administrative leave.

Kurtz said he accepted Pohl’s resignation on Thursday.

According to the Archdiocese of Louisville, federal investigators said child pornography was found on electronic devices belonging to Pohl.

“Father Pohl had numerous, up to 200, photos of St. Margaret Mary schoolchildren on his computer that were taken on parish grounds,” archdiocese Chief Administrative Officer Dr. Brian Reynolds said.

Reynolds said they were told the children were fully clothed, but authorities described some of these pictures as inappropriate. It's unclear what that means.

“They didn't describe those for me. I specifically asked whether this involved nudity and they said no,” Reynolds said.

Cyber Crimes Unit investigator Dan Jackman also told church officials Pohl had downloaded child pornography on his personal computer and other technology.

"There is anger, there is confusion, and there is hurt and there is fear,” Kurtz said.

The federal investigation is said to be in its early stages and is not expected to be completed for some time.

Reynolds said the Cyber Crimes Unit got involved after a family complained to authorities about a photo taken of a child.

Pohl's address on the arrest document matches the address of St. Margaret Mary in Louisville.


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