Attorneys ask for shock probation for local priest convicted of child molestation



BRANDENBURG, Ky. (WDRB) — Attorneys for a Louisville priest convicted on child molestation charges argue that he should be released from prison.

They went before a Meade County judge Thursday seeking shock probation for Father Joseph Hemmerle.

Earlier this year, a judge sentenced Hemmerle to two years in prison for sexually abusing a boy more than 40-years ago at summer camp.
In 2016, a jury convicted him of abusing a different boy in the 1970’s.

Prosecutors argue because of the severity of the crimes, Hemmerle should remain behind bars.

Judy Norris, the mother of one of Hemmerle’s victims, was called to the stand at the hearing. “I am asking you to deny this man shock probation.  He has never admitted to what he did to my son and ask for forgiveness.”  Norris added,”When you think of the 43 years that Michael has had to deal with the pain of what he did to him, it doesn’t seem long enough time for him to spend in jail.”

Hemmerle was not in the courtroom for the hearing. He remains a priest, but he is suspended from ministry.  No word on when a judge could  make a final ruling.

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