Assignment Record Rev. Stephen A. Pohl

Summary of Case: Stephen A. Pohl was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville KY in 1985. He assisted at parishes in Fern Creek, Bardstown and Louisville, and he served for a time as the Archdiocesan Vocations Director. Pohl also pastored parishes in Louisville, Bardstown and St. Thomas. In August 2015 a 10-year-old boy told his parents that Pohl had taken pictures of him and other boys, and that it made him "feel weird." Federal investigators found child pornography on Pohl's computer, and 200 photos of children from his parish, some of them "inappropriate." Pohl was arrested in Florida and charged with accessing child pornography. He pled guilty in January 2016 and was sentenced in March 2016 to 33 months in federal prison, to register as a sex offender, and lifetime probation. He was also fined $7,500. A lawsuit was filed in March 2016 against the archdiocese by parents of a boy victimized by Pohl at age 7 in 2014. Another family whose son was the subject of Pohl's photos during kindergarten in 2014 and 2015 filed suit in August 2016. He was laicized effective February 26, 2017.

Ordained: 1985
Laicized: February 26, 2017

 

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Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1985

Louisville archbishop was Thomas Cajetan Kelly, O.P. (1981-2007).

1990 St. Gabriel the Archangel

Fern Creek

KY 2/2

St. Gabriel's had a school with 632-685 students.

1990

1992 St. Joseph's Bardstown KY 2/2 St. Joseph's had a grade school with 378-406 students and a high school with 184-174 students.

1992

1996 St. Athanasius Louisville KY 2/2 In residence. St. Athanasius had a school with 376-429 students.
1992 1997 Archdiocesan Vocations Director Louisville KY    

1996

Kelly was succeeded by Joseph Edward Kurtz (2007-).

2008 St. Monica's Bardstown KY 1/1 St. Monica's had a religious education program with 20 students.
1996 2008 St. Thomas' St. Thomas KY 1/1 St. Thomas' had a school until 1998 with 109-89 students, and a religious education program with 100-55 students.
2008 2015 St. Margaret Mary's

Louisville

In August 2015 a 10-year-old boy told his parents Pohl took pictures of him and other boys that made him [the boy] "feel weird." The FBI found child porn on Pohl's computer, plus 200 photos of parish children, some deemed
"inappropriate." The pornographic images were of nude infant to teen-age boys, with their genitals exposed.

KY 1/2, 1/3, 1/4

St. Margaret Mary's had a school with 723-712 students, and a religious education program with 115-104 students.

Pohl resigned from St. Margaret Mary's August 20, 2015 while investigated for child porn, and was placed on leave by the Archdiocese. He was arrested August 21, 2015 in Florida, charged with accessing child pornography. He was released September 3 to home incarceration at his mother's house. Pohl pled guilty January 4, 2016 and was sent to jail. Pohl was sentenced March 29, 2016 to 33 months in prison, lifetime parole, and to register as a sex offender. He was also fined $7,500. The same day as sentencing, the family of a 7-year-old victim filed a suit against the archdiocese.

Pohl was laicized February 26, 2017.

 

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1986-2014).

Father Stephen Pohl: Priest Targeted In FBI Kiddie Porn Probe, Placed On Leave By Archdiocese, Inquisitr, August 16, 2015
Louisville priest jailed on child porn charge, By Jeff Watkins, Courier-Journal, August 22, 2015
FBI Report: Priest Took "Weird" Photos Of Schoolboys, Lex 18, August 24, 2015
New details: Priest took 'child erotica' photos of St. Margaret Mary students, By Jennifer Weigel, WLKY, August 24, 2015
Accused priest to be extradited in 30 to 40 days, By Matthew Glowicki, Courier-Journal, August 26, 2015
Priest back in Louisville to face porn charge, By Matthew Glowicki, Courier-Journal, September 2, 2015
Ex-St. Margaret Mary priest to be released on home incarceration pending outcome of child porn charges, By Antoinette Konz, WDRB, September 2, 2015
Former St. Margaret Mary priest arrives back in Louisville, By Steve Burgin, WLKY, September 2, 2015
Former Louisville Priest Indicted on Child Porn Charges, By Laurel Mallory, WAVE, November 3, 2015
Former Priest Indicted on Federal Child Exploitation Charges, WLKY, November 3, 2015
Father Pohl Pleads Not Guilty in Court, By Bethanni Williams, WHAS, November 24, 2015
Trial canceled for priest facing child porn charges; change of plea expected, WHAS, December 22, 2015
Ex-pastor Pleads Guilty to Child Porn Charge, By Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal, January 4, 2016
Former St. Margaret Mary Parish pastor scheduled for change of plea, WDRB, January 4, 2016
Former St. Margaret Mary Pastor Pleads Guilty to Accessing, Viewing Child Porn, WHAS, January 4, 2016
Former Pastor Pleads Guilty to Accessing Child Porn with Intent to View, WLKY, January 4, 2016
Catholic School Parents Want Convicted Priest's Photos Released, By David Scott, WDRB, January 15, 2016
St. Margaret Mary Parents Circulate Petition, Civil Suit Possible, By Connie Leonard, WAVE, January 19, 2016
Priest Sentenced to Prison on Child Porn Charges, By Matthew Glowicki, Courier-Journal, March 29, 2016
St. Margaret Mary parents sue Louisville archdiocese over ex-priest, By Marcus Green, WDRB, August 22, 2016
Stephen Pohl Removed from the Clerical State, The Record, March 16, 2017



Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Howlin's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on March 20, 2017.


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