Father Joseph Hemmerle: Louisville priest denied shock probation

Father Joseph Hemmerle: Louisville priest denied shock probation
Leilani Martin (Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News)
Leilani Martin (Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News)
If found guilty on all charges, Hemmerle could spend the rest of his life in prison. (Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News)
If found guilty on all charges, Hemmerle could spend the rest of his life in prison. (Source: Michael Flynn, WAVE 3 News)

BRANDENBURG, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville priest convicted of sex abuse dating back to the 1970s was denied shock probation.

A Meade County Circuit Court spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday that Judge Bruce Butler rejected Father Joseph Hemmerle's request on Friday. There was no further explanation.

Hemmerle's attorney filed the motion two weeks ago at a hearing for which Hemmerle was not present. Hemmerle, who one point faced life in prison, is scheduled to stand trial in another similar case next year.

Hemmerle was director and camp counselor for Camp Tall Trees in Meade County for 30 years. In November, he was acquitted on one charge of engaging in a sexual act but was found guilty on a count of inappropriate touching.

In February, he was sentenced to seven years in prison after the court found him guilty of molesting Michael Norris. The incident is believed to have happened more than 40 years ago while Norris was attending the summer camp. Norris said he got a bad case of poison ivy and Hemmerle told him he could help. Norris visited Hemmerle's cabin, where he said he was abused.

Hemmerle is still considered a priest but the Archdiocese of Louisville has asked him not to present himself as such.

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