Joseph Pilger, 78, was found dead in his home Friday night. An autopsy Saturday found the cause of death to be multiple blunt force injuries, according to the Fayette County coroner. The death is being investigated as a homicide.
Pilger lived alone until the past month, when a young man began staying with him, said his neighbor, Karen Owens. Owens said Pilger's car, which had been at his home earlier in the day, was missing Friday night.
Pilger pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in 1995 for abusing three altar boys in 1968 and 1969, when he was their pastor in Morganfield in western Kentucky. He was sentenced to five years' probation beginning in January 1995.
Earlier this year, Pilger was named in a sex-abuse lawsuit against the dioceses of Lexington and Covington. When the lawsuits were filed, Pilger declined to comment on the allegation.