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Owensboro Diocese Places Priest on Temporary Suspension Amid Sex Abuse Claim

Lisa Autry

The Catholic Diocese of Owensboro has temporarily suspended a priest while he’s being investigated on child sexual abuse allegations.

Fr. Joseph Edward Bradley was suspended as the volunteer chaplain at Owensboro Catholic High School after a complaint was received on Tuesday.  The allegation refers to sexual abuse by Fr. Bradley in the 1980s while he was principal at Owensboro Catholic High School. 

A statement from the diocese says the allegation was immediately reported to the local Commonwealth Attorney's Office and the Diocesan Review Board which removed Fr. Bradley from his volunteer role until the investigation is complete.

Fr. Bradley, who was ordained a priest of the diocese in 1975, became a staff member at Owensboro Catholic High School in 1976 and served as principal from 1980-1985.  He pastored five parishes in the Diocese of Owensboro before retiring from public ministry in 2011.  That’s when he began his role as volunteer chaplain at Owensboro Catholic High School.  

Bishop William Medley declined media interviews, but issued a statement saying, “Our policies require that any priest accused of inappropriate conduct with a minor be suspended to assure the safety of children and youth,” said Bishop Medley. "Our commitment is to take seriously any allegation brought to us while at the same time affording Fr. Bradley a presumption of innocence until more information is available."

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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