LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The former pastor of a Louisville, Kentucky, parish was charged by grand jury Indictment yesterday with violating federal child exploitation laws, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.
The Indictment charges Stephen Pohl, age 57, with knowingly accessing, via the Internet, with intent to view material that contained images of child pornography between January and August 2015.
Pohl was initially charged with the same offense by criminal complaint on August 21, 2015. The complaint was filed after law enforcement officials executed two federal search warrants on August 12, 2015, in the work and living areas used by Pohl in the parish office and rectory of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Community, located at 7813 Shelbyville Road, in Louisville, Kentucky.
Law enforcement officials arrested Pohl in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, on Friday evening, August 21, 2015. Pohl was then held at the Pinellas County Jail until his transfer to the custody of the United States Marshals Service. He appeared in United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky on September 2, 2015.
If convicted, Pohl faces maximum potential penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000.00 fine and at least five years of Supervised Release.
Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless is prosecuting the case. The Federal Bureau of Investigation in conjunction with Louisville Metro Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit conducted the investigation.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
The charging of a person by a Grand Jury Indictment is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.