National News

Kentucky Catholic priest reaches plea deal on sex abuse

Posted May 18

— A Catholic priest has reached a plea agreement on sexual abuse charges that occurred at a summer camp in Kentucky that he ran for decades.

R. Joseph Hemmerle was facing allegations of abuse from a second person who said Hemmerle abused him at Camp Tall Trees in Meade County. Hemmerle was also convicted in November of abusing a boy who attended the camp in the 1970s.

Prosecutors say Hemmerle's plea deal for sexual abuse and wanton endangerment includes a 10-year sentence, with two years of the sentence to be served and the rest to be spent on probation. Hemmerle entered an Alford plea Wednesday, which means he didn't admit guilt, but acknowledged that prosecutors could win a conviction in court.

Hemmerle has been on administrative leave since 2014.


This story corrects sentencing details


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