Kentucky Supreme Court Will Not Review Appeal of Priest Convicted of Sexual Abuse

August 26, 2019

A priest in Kentucky who was convicted of sexual abuse had his hopes for an appeal shot down yesterday as the Kentucky Supreme Court declined to hear his case. We are grateful for this outcome and hope it brings closure and healing to his victims.

Fr. Joseph Hemmerle was convicted in 2016 for sexually abusing a child in Meade County. He appealed his conviction by arguing that the court had not proven his intent. Fortunately, the jurors on the Kentucky Supreme Court did not buy his argument and Fr. Hemmerle will remain in jail until at least February, 2020 when he is eligible for parole.

Children are protected and abuse is prevented when abusers are punished for their crimes and not allowed to escape on a technicality. We are glad that Fr. Hemmerle will not be able to abuse more children while behind bars and hope that his parole is denied in February as well. We call on the Catholic Church to cut ties with Fr. Hemmerle by beginning the laicizing process, cutting off his paychecks and ending his legal support.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is








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