Priest Sentenced for Abusing Boy in 1970s

February 9, 2017

A Meade County judge on Thursday morning handed down a jury's recommended sentence for the Rev. Joseph Hemmerle.

Hemmerle was found guilty in November of one count of indecent or immoral practices with a child.

The 74-year-old testified at trial that he occasionally put lotion on the boy's private areas at a Meade County summer camp in the 1970s, but told jurors that he never abused the accuser, who was 10 years old at the time.

The Archdiocese of Louisville released a statement which read:

" Today, Father Joseph Hemmerle received a seven-year sentence following his conviction on one count of indecent or immoral practices with a minor.

No child should have to experience abuse of any kind. The Archdiocese is committed to reaching out to victims of sexual abuse and preventing the sexual abuse of minors through training and education. We continue to encourage victims of sexual abuse by Church employees to contact the police and our Victim Assistance Coordinator, Martine Siegel at 502/636-1044 or

At this time, Father Hemmerle remains a priest who has been suspended from ministry and has been directed not to present himself as a priest, pending the results of the criminal proceedings, which will continue with another trial this year. After the criminal process is complete, Father Hemmerle’s case will be given to the Holy See for a final determination of his status as a priest." -- Archdiocese of Louisville








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