Former St. Margaret Mary Pastor and Priest sentenced on child porn charges

March 29, 2016

[with video]

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Priest, Father Stephen Pohll, who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges was sentenced today.

Ted Shouse, Pohl's Attorney says, "He's relieved this has come to an conclusion."

Pohl spoke to the court saying he apologizes to the St. Margaret Mary Parish, the Archbishop, his family and friends and the public. He said he deeply regrets the sadness caused by this.

He went on to say, "I pray forr God's mercy and forgiveness" and that his actions "may have God's healing and peace."

Shouse says, "I think it was sincere. It was honest and it comes from Father Pohl's heart."

20 people also wrote letters in support of Pohl for the judge to read before sentencing. Some asked the judge to have mercy on Pohl.

Pohl accepted a plea deal in January to accessing child pornography. Earlier this year, he appeared in federal court to change his plea to guilty to avoid a trial.

The judge approved the plea deal in court. Poh will spend 2 years and nine months in prison and must serve 85 percent of the time. After that, he'll be on a life term of supervised release. He must also pay a 75-hundred dollar fine.

Shouse says, "Father Pohl voluntarily began psychological and psychiatric treatment almost immediately after his arrest and he's been continuing that treatment while he's been incarcerated."

The investigation began after a child told his mother Pohl took pictures of him that made him feel "weird."  When the child's parents confronted Pohl, they say they saw similar pictures of another child and reported that to police.

The FBI and U-S Attorney's Office are in the process of identifying the St. Margaret Mary children in photographs, but say there was no child pornography. A letter will be mailed to parents giving them the option to view the photos. Pohl had been the pastor at St. Margaret-Mary Parish fo years.

Pohl has been temporarily housed in Leitchfield, but now the Bureau of Prisons will decide where he will serve out his sentence.


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