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Posted: Thursday, 05 June 2014 7:49AM

Retired priest pleads guilty to sex abuse of minor



OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — A former western Kentucky priest has pleaded guilty to first-degree sexual abuse in the 1970s.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer (http://bit.ly/Tf9gRJ ) reports the Rev. Louis Francis Piskula, who is now 74, entered into a plea agreement that dropped a first-degree sodomy charge brought in a 2012 indictment.

Piskula's lawyer, Steven Dowell of Owensboro, said his client "vehemently denied" the sodomy charge and dropping it made it possible for Piskula to accept the deal. It calls for a maximum five-year sentence, with sentencing set for Aug. 6.

The case involved a minor under the age of 12 while Piskula was serving at Blessed Mother Catholic Church in Owensboro.

Piskula was priest at several Catholic parishes in Owensboro, Murray, Paducah and Whitesville. He was ordained in 1975 and retired in 2002.

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