Fairfield Priest Faces Child Abuse Charge
By Dan Horn
November 15, 2012
A Catholic priest in Fairfield was accused in federal court Thursday of transporting a boy across state lines so he could abuse him.
The Rev. Robert Poandl, a Glenmary Home Missioner, faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted.
Federal prosecutors say the abuse occurred in 1991 when Poandl traveled with the 10-year-old boy from Ohio to West Virginia. His accuser, now 30 and living in Cincinnati, told police in 2009 that Poandl molested him at the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church rectory in Spencer, W.Va.
Poandl, 71, was charged with sexual abuse in West Virginia, but a judge dismissed those state charges in 2010.
Federal prosecutors said they believe the evidence is strong enough to support the federal charges, which are possible because the alleged crime involved interstate transportation. Poandl’s lawyer declined comment.
Poandl was in shackles Thursday for his detention hearing in U.S. District Court. He will remain in the Butler County Jail at least until another hearing Monday before Magistrate Stephanie Bowman.
Poandl, who is not associated with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, has worked in Cincinnati, West Virginia, Georgia and Oklahoma. The Glenmary Home Missioners is a religious order based in Fairfield that serves people in Appalachia and the rural South.
A statement Thursday from leaders of the order said Poandl has been living at a Glenmary residence in the Cincinnati area and has “not been functioning as a priest.”
They also said the order has received a federal subpoena seeking documents related to Poandl.
“We have just learned of these charges today,” said the Rev. Chet Artysiewicz, president of the Glenmary Home Missioners. “We are working to fully comply with the subpoena and cooperate with investigators.”