Catholic Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A Catholic priest who leads two parishes in central Kentucky has been placed on administrative leave after a report that he sexually abused a boy in the 1970s.

The Rev. Joseph Hemmerle is pastor at St. Francis of Assissi and Holy Cross parishes in Marion County.

Archbishop Joseph Kurtz wrote in a letter to parishioners that the archdiocese was contacted by someone who alleged the abuse by Hemmerle. The archdiocese referred it to law enforcement in Meade County, where the abuse allegedly occurred.

The Courier-Journal reports Hemmerle was also put on leave in 2002 after another man alleged he was molested in the mid-1970s. Hemmerle was allowed to return to ministry after investigations by police and the archdiocese could not substantiate the accusation.

Hemmerle declined to comment when reached by the newspaper.

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