U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Kentucky
(502) 582-5911
August 24, 2015

Former Pastor of Louisville Parish Charged with Viewing Child Pornography Over the Internet

LOUISVILLE, KY—The former pastor of a Louisville, Kentucky parish was charged by criminal complaint with knowingly accessing with intent to view images of child pornography during 2015, on two computers located in the office and rectory of St. Margaret Mary Parish, located at 7813 Shelbyville, Road in Louisville, announced United States Attorney John E. Kuhn, Jr.

Stephen Pohl, age 57, of Louisville, was charged by criminal complaint on August 21, 2015. The complaint, affidavit and warrant were unsealed this morning by United States Magistrate Judge Dave Whalin. Pohl is scheduled for an Initial Appearance on the charge today, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli, at 2:00 p.m., in United States District Court located in Tampa, Florida.

Law enforcement executed two federal search warrants on August 12, 2015, in the work and living areas used by Pohl in the parish office and rectory. Subsequently, a warrant for Pohl’s arrest was issued Friday, August 21, 2015. FBI Tampa Division, Pinellas Resident Agency and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrested Pohl in Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, Friday evening, August 21, 2015. Pohl was then held at the Pinellas County Jail until his transfer to the United States Marshal’s custody today.

The specific charge is knowingly accessing with intent to view material that contained an image of child pornography that had been transported using any means or facility of interstate commerce and foreign commerce by any means including by computer.

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.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless and is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Child Exploitation Task Force and the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit. 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 Criminal Complaint is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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