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Ky. Ex-Priest Admitted Abuse

Jul 24, 2002 | AP

A retired Roman Catholic priest facing criminal charges of child sexual abuse molested youths throughout his adult life, beginning in 1960, according to a 1990 psychiatric report.

The report, filed Monday in Jefferson Circuit Court, said the Rev. Louis Miller committed assaults every other month during the 1960s and '70s, usually targeting boys 10 to 15.

When the church learned of incidents, it moved him from one job to another, said the report on an evaluation by a Cincinnati psychiatrist sent to Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly.

Miller, 71, was indicted last month on charges of sexually abusing or committing indecent acts with 23 children in Jefferson and Oldham counties. He pleaded innocent.

Miller was also accused of sexual abuse by 63 people in lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Louisville, alleging it knew of abuse allegations and covered them up.

"This is a bombshell," said lawyer William McMurry, who represents most plaintiffs.

The archdiocese contends it has no records of allegations against Miller before 1989. Kelly has said he never knowingly put children at risk in reassigning a priest.

Kelly barred Miller from working with children in 1990 and eventually assigned him as a nursing home chaplain.

Spokeswoman Cecelia Price said Tuesday that Kelly made an assignment "that at the time he felt was appropriate." None of the lawsuits accuse him of abuse after that time.

The report, by Dr. Richard W. Brush, said Miller's first assault was in 1960, four years after his ordination. He confessed to a superior and began the first of several psychiatric treatments, the evaluation said.

He was moved from Holy Spirit in 1961, but fondled children over the next two decades, the report said.

"Miller admits to periodically acting out sexual impulses in this manner his entire adult life," the report said.

Another professional who examined Miller, psychologist Robert G. Tureen, wrote in a 1990 report that Miller had an absence of guilt and that he would not be expected to respond to or seek psycho-therapeutic help except under pressure.

Miller retired in March. He is the only priest in the archdiocese to be criminally charged, though the 156 abuse-related lawsuits filed against it since April name more than 20 clergy members and employees.

In other developments:

A Kentucky Court of Appeals judge in Frankfort ordered all records in a sex-abuse lawsuit against two Roman Catholic dioceses to remain sealed pending a ruling by the three-judge panel. The lawsuit was filed against the dioceses on behalf of unnamed plaintiffs who say they were sexually abused as minors by priests in the Lexington and Covington dioceses.

In Worcester, Mass., a former priest jailed 12 years ago for sexually abusing a child faced new charges that he raped another girl. Robert E. Kelley, 60, was released on $10,000 cash bail after pleading innocent to sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl in 1980. Kelley has been criminally charged with sexually assaulting six girls in separate lawsuits.

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