Claims against Priest Will Be Checked
Rev. Miller Retired after Being Accused of Sex Abuse of Minors

By Peter Smith
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
April 16, 2002

Jefferson County prosecutors say they are looking into allegations of abuse against a local priest that were reported Sunday in The Courier-Journal.

The Rev. Louis E. Miller retired last month after being accused of sexually abusing minors in the 1960s and 1970s, according to an official of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville. Miller also has settled two lawsuits with adults who allege that he abused them in the 1970s, when they were children.

"It is our job to look into this matter, and that's what we're going to do," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jeff Derouen said yesterday. But Derouen, spokesman for the office of Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Stengel, said it was too early to say what action might be taken. There is no statute of limitations for felonies in Kentucky, meaning that even decades-old cases can be prosecuted, Derouen said.

Brian Reynolds, chief administrative officer for the archdiocese, said yesterday that the church has not yet been contacted by authorities. But "we have a long history of cooperating with the civil authorities, and we would intend to do so in this matter as well," he said.

Miller, reached yesterday, referred questions to his attorney, Frank Radmacher, who did not respond to a phone message.

In court documents, Miller has denied all allegations of abuse.

Though Reynolds said the archdiocese first recorded a complaint against Miller in December 1989 and has received several since, it never reported the allegations to police. Nor did the alleged victims.

State law requires citizens to alert police if they suspect a child is being abused. But the law doesn't cover instances when an adult brings allegations of having been abused as a child, years earlier.

All of the allegations against Miller stem from the 1960s and '70s, Reynolds said.

Miller continued in ministry until last month, but Archbishop Thomas Kelly barred him in 1990 from working with children, according to the archdiocese. Miller also went to a counselor who specializes in dealing with sex offenders, according to court documents.

Miller worked as chaplain of Sacred Heart Village, a home for the elderly. But last month, when the archdiocese received another complaint of abuse - also from decades earlier - the priest retired, Reynolds said.

Miller also was sued by a niece and a former parishioner in the 1990s, alleging past sexual abuse. The priest denied the charges, and the lawsuits were settled out of court.

Miller has served in several parishes since his ordination in 1956. They include Holy Spirit, St. Athanasius and St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Jefferson County, St. Aloysius in Pewee Valley, St. Ann in Howardstown and Our Lady of Mercy in Hodgenville. From 1963 to 1973, he also worked as a chaplain at SS. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital.


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