Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Convicted priest seeks early out from prison

By Ellen R. Stapleton
The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - A retired Catholic priest sentenced to 30 years in prison for sexually abusing children will have one month to submit letters in support of his early release, a judge said Monday.

Jefferson County Circuit Judge Ann O'Malley Shake will then rule on the Rev. Louis E. Miller's request after prosecutors have a chance to file documents opposing shock probation for Miller.

Miller, 72, is serving a 20-year sentence after pleading guilty to sexually abusing children in Jefferson County, and a 10-year sentence for charges in Oldham County. The two terms are being served consecutively. Prosecutors had said he would be eligible for parole in six years.

More than 100 people have publicly accused Miller of abusing them when they were children. Some attended Monday's brief hearing.

Mary Fuchs said she was angry that Miller wants to be let out early.

"He knows what he did to us," she said. "And he knows six months or less is not enough time to take care of the four years I was abused by him."

Commonwealth's Attorney Carol Cobb said she did not know who would be advocating for Miller's release.

"The commonwealth believes anyone who has committed this number of offenses over this number of years certainly continues to be a danger," she said. "But I'm sure that he has family and friends in favor of shock probation as well as others in the community, so I expect a large number of letters on his behalf."

Miller's attorney, David Lambertus, declined comment after the hearing.

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