The Rev. Louis E. Miller pleaded guilty this morning to 14 charges of sexually molesting children in Oldham County in the 1970s. The plea was less than two weeks after beginning a 20-year sentence for a similar plea in Jefferson County.
“I plead guilty,” the 72-year-old priest said after each of the 14 counts was read against him. They described how Miller molested seven boys and one girl while serving at St. Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley between 1973 and 1975.
Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit, his head newly shaven, Miller told Oldham Circuit Judge Paul Rosenblum he didn’t remember all of his offenses but was willing to plead guilty to the charges of indecent or immoral practices with another.
Citing a hearing problem, Miller stood at the judge’s bench as Rosenblum read the charges.
Miller has been at a LaGrange correctional center since May 27, when Jefferson Circuit Judge Ann O’Malley Shake sentenced him to 20 years in prison. Miller pleaded guilty earlier this year to 50 counts of molesting children in Jefferson County between 1957 and 1982.
Miller, who was indicted on the Oldham County charges last July, entered an “open plea,” according to his lawyer, David Lambertus. The plea meant that Miller made no agreement with prosecutors on a possible sentence.
His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 18.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Kim Snell said he wanted to read a presentencing report before recommending a sentence, but he said he would oppose probation or shock probation.
Michael Turner, one of at least four of Miller’s Oldham County victims to attend the court proceeding, said afterward he supported a consecutive sentence that would lengthen Miller’s time in prison. “I think he’s at high risk still,” said Turner, who now lives in Louisville.
Miller is at the center of the Archdiocese of Louisville’s problems concerning allegations of sexual abuse by priests. He has now pleaded guilty to 64 criminal charges, stating that he molested 29 children in two counties between 1957 and 1982.
Archbishop Thomas Kelly removed Miller from parish ministry in 1990 after a victim reported that Miller had abused him years earlier. Miller continued to work as a retirement-home chaplain until he retired in April 2002, just before a flood of allegations against him became public.
Also this morning, representatives for the archdiocese and for plaintiffs suing the church resumed their talks at the Jefferson Club in downtown Louisville in an attempt to resolve 242 pending lawsuits against the church, alleging abuse by Miller as well as dozens of other priests and others associated with the Catholic church.