Father R. Joseph Hemmerle indicted for sexual abuse

Father R. Joseph Hemmerle, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, has been indicted in Meade County, Ky., on several counts of sexual abuse.

The archdiocese said in a statement released Sept. 9 that it “has cooperated with law enforcement officials as they have investigated these accusations and will continue to fully cooperate.”

Father Hemmerle was placed on administrative leave in May after an individual reported that he had been sexually abused by Father Hemmerle in the 1970s.

At the time Father Hemmerle was placed on administrative leave, he was serving as pastor of Holy Cross and St. Francis of Assisi churches in Marion County, Ky.

The archdiocese said in a statement it released in May that Father Hemmerle has served in the following parishes: the former St. Timothy Church; (now part of St. Peter the Apostle Church); St. Barnabas Church; the former St. John Church; St. Raphael Church; St. Bartholomew Church; the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, Ky.; St. Francis Church in St. Francis, Ky., and Holy Cross Church in Holy Cross, Ky.

He also served at Trinity High School, Camp Tall Trees in Meade County, Ky., and St. Thomas-St. Vincent Home.

Anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse or has information about sexual abuse is encouraged to contact Martine Siegel, the victim assistance coordinator for the archdiocese. She can be reached at 636-1044 or victimassistance@archlou.org.

To report abuse to civil authorities, call the child protection services or the local police in your county. Visit www.archlou.org/report for a list of these agencies by county.

The statewide child abuse hotline is available at 1-877-KYSAFE1 or 1-877-597-2331.

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