Parents file suit against archdiocese

Record Staff Report

Attorney William McMurry filed suit Aug. 19 against the Archdiocese of Louisville on behalf of the parents of a child whom, according to the suit, Father Stephen A. Pohl photographed while pastor of St. Margaret Mary Church.

Father Pohl was sentenced on March 29 in federal court to 33 months after he pleaded guilty to accessing child pornography.

In addition to accessing child pornography online, the priest had more than 150 photos of St. Margaret Mary School children on his computer and other devices, court records say. While not pornographic, investigators described some of the photos as inappropriate, characterizing them as “child erotica.”

The Aug. 19 suit claims the archdiocese was negligent in its hiring and supervision of the priest. McMurry also filed suit against the Archdiocese of Louisville March 29 on behalf of another set of parents of a child whom, according to the suit, the priest photographed.

Claims in a lawsuit represent only one side of a legal case. The archdiocese does not comment on pending litigation.

Father Pohl has served at the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, St. Thomas and St. Monica churches in Bardstown, Ky.; St. Athanasius, St. Gabriel and St. Helen, now Mary Queen of Peace, churches; the archdiocese’s Vocation Office and Mercy Academy.

Anyone who has information about sexual abuse or child pornography should contact the police. To report to the civil authorities, call child protection services or the local police in your county. See www.archlou.org/report for a list of these agencies or call the statewide hotline 1-877-KYSAFE1 or 1-877-597-2331.

Martine Siegel, victim assistance coordinator for the archdiocese, also is available to assist those who have concerns. Contact her at 636-1044 or email her at victimassistance@archlou.org.

1 Comment

  • Judy Jones says:

    Let’s hope that any others who may have knowledge or may have been harmed by Stephen A. Pohl, will find the courage to come forward and contact law enforcement no matter how long ago it happened. Silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others
    Judy Jones, 636-433-2511. SNAPjudy@gmail.com
    SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

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