Priest Faces Trial in Child Molestation Case
September 16, 2013
Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in a case against a longtime Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a boy two decades ago.
Federal prosecutors plan to allege the Rev. Robert F. Poandl had a history of molesting children before he allegedly attacked the boy on Aug. 3, 1991, according to a motion filed Friday in U.S. District Court.
They say he molested two young boys over a three-year period beginning in May 1981.
Both boys were about 10 years old at the time, according to the filing, and the priest had met the children’s parents through Worldwide Marriage Encounters, a program affiliated with the Catholic Church designed to bring husbands and wives closer together.
Poandl was released on an electronic monitor in November pending trial. He belongs to a Fairfield-based Catholic religious order called the Glenmary Home Missioners and is not associated with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Jean Bach, Glenmary’s communications director, said Poandl denies the allegations. He was relieved of ministerial duties in February 2012.
The alleged victim didn’t tell anyone about the assault for 18 years, according to the filings, until a girlfriend said it was her dream to get married in a Catholic church.
Soon after, he told her and his parents that the priest had assaulted him nearly two decades earlier.