Former Priest, Sentenced for Sexually Abusing 21 Kids, Pleads Guilty to More Charges

By Mike Torralba
Associated Press State & Local Wire
June 10, 2003

The retired Roman Catholic priest at the forefront of a sex-abuse scandal in the Louisville archdiocese pleaded guilty to more abuse charges on Monday.

Wearing an orange prisoner's jumpsuit instead of a priest's garb, the Rev. Louis Miller pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts of indecent and immoral practices filed against him in Oldham County.

Miller, 72, already had received a 20-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty in March to charges in neighboring Jefferson County - 44 counts of indecent and immoral practices with another and six counts of sexual abuse. Those charges involved 21 victims.

He said he didn't remember some of the incidents from when he was an associate pastor at St. Aloysius parish in Pewee Valley. But he said he would not challenge them. The incidents occurred over three years beginning in 1972.

The eight victims in the Oldham cases, at least one of whom was present at Monday's hearing, were between 10 and 15 years old when the incidents occurred. They had been members of St. Aloysius.

Miller softly affirmed his guilt as Circuit Judge Paul Rosenblum read from a list of charges. His ankles were bound loosely with a chain, and his gray hair had been shorn. He made no statement to the victims.

Michael Turner, 45, of Louisville, was one of them. He said Miller "looked worse than he did when we were in Jefferson. It bothered me more."

Commonwealth's Attorney Kim Snell said Miller had chosen to be sentenced under current Kentucky law, which carries a maximum 20 years for the charges.

Snell said he wanted Miller's sentence to run consecutively with the Jefferson County sentence but would not recommend one until after he conferred with the victims.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Aug. 18. He said he would oppose any motion for probation or "shock probation."

Shock probation refers to the release of an inmate after a relatively short time if the judge believes the time served has been sufficient punishment.

Miller's attorney, David Lambertus, declined comment.

Victims advocates applauded the guilty pleas but said they'd like Miller to receive consecutive sentences.

"Louis Miller should not see the light of day from prison," said Sue Archibald, a spokeswoman for the victims group Linkup, based in Louisville.

Miller, who is being held at the Kentucky State Reformatory in La Grange, had been a priest in the archdiocese for more than 40 years. He had worked at seven different parishes since 1956. He retired last year, just before the first wave of child-molestation allegations broke.

Miller was the first of four priests or former priests who faced criminal charges in the state last year.

Two other priests, the Revs. Daniel C. Clark and James Hargadon and a former priest, Bruce Ewing are awaiting trial. All have pleaded innocent and were employed by the Louisville archdiocese.

Miller also is accused of molesting children in 94 of the more than 250 lawsuits filed against the Louisville archdiocese since April 2002. The plaintiffs claim the church knew they were sexually abused as children by clergy or others connected with the church, but concealed it and did nothing to stop it.


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