Ex-priest to Stand Trial for Child Sex Charges
September 13, 2013
From staff and wire reports
A Catholic priest in Ohio who once worked in Glennville, Claxton, and Pembroke will stand trial Monday on charges he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old Cincinnati boy he took to West Virginia in August 1991.
The Rev. Robert Poandl, who worked in seven Georgia towns as part of Glenmary Missions out of Fairfield, Ohio, faces federal child sex charges following a Nov. 14 indictment from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, according to the FBI Cincinnati division website, www.fbi.gov/cincinnati.
FBI agents arrested Poandl, also known as “Father Bob,” at the Glenmary Missions campus, where he lives, the day after his indictment was returned.
The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
According to www.bishop-accountability.org, Poandl pleaded not guilty to the charges Nov. 20 and was released on his own recognizance, placed on house arrest with a GPS monitoring device.
After his arrest, Glenmary Missioners released a statement on their website claiming the charges were related to a June 2009 accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor in 1991 in Spencer, W.Va.
The statement said those charges against Poandl were dismissed by a West Virginia court in August 2010 and his record was expunged.
In February 2012, Poandl was relieved of his ministerial duties as pastor of Glenmary’s missions in Claxton, Pembroke and Sand Hill, Ga., after an unrelated allegation of sexual misconduct, according to reports. Since then, he has lived under a safety plan at Glenmary’s campus and has not been functioning as a Roman Catholic priest.
According to Associated Press reports, Poandl’s attorney sought dismissal of the charges, asking asked Ohio U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett to throw out the case, saying a five-year statute of limitations should apply to the crime.
The charges followed a report by the victim several years after the incident was said to have occurred.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, reported that Poandl’s trial begins Monday in federal court in Cincinnati.
“This victim and his family are very brave,” said Judy Jones, a spokeswoman for SNAP. “And this predator is very shrewd.”
She urged anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered Poandl’s crimes to call authorities immediately.
“It’s never too late to share what you know or suspect with law enforcement officials,” she said. “It’s up to us to pass on information. And it’s up to police and prosecutors to determine what will help them prosecute a criminal.”
Poandl worked in Blairsville, Dahlonga, Cleveland, Glenville, Claxton, Pembroke, and Sand Hill. He also worked at churches and church assignments in Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi.
“He has been transferred roughly 30 times in 44 years. That alone is a serious red flag,” said David Clohessy , a member of SNAP.