Priest Found Guilty of Taking 10-Year-Old Boy to West Virginia
for Sex to Be Sentenced
February 12, 2014
CINCINNATI — An Ohio priest convicted of taking a
10-year-old boy to West Virginia for sex more than two decades
ago was sentenced Wednesday to seven and a half years in prison.
Robert Poandl was sentenced in federal court in
Cincinnati on one count of transporting a minor in interstate
commerce with the intent of engaging him in sex. Prosecutors say
the priest from suburban Cincinnati took the boy to Spencer,
West Virginia, in 1991 and raped him while visiting a church
Poandl, who was convicted in September, continued to
maintain his innocence Wednesday.
"I have never ever abused anyone ever," the
72-year-old priest said in addressing the judge prior to
The victim, who now is in his 30s, also spoke in court
prior to sentencing, saying that the priest had "put hate into
The accuser, looking directly at Poandl much of the
time, said that the abuse caused anger and shame.
"It is time for justice to finally be served," he told
The Associated Press generally doesn't identify people
who say they were sexually abused.
The accuser didn't tell West Virginia law enforcement
officials until 2009 that he'd been abused. Poandl was indicted
there on charges accusing him of sexually abusing the boy, but a
judge dismissed those charges in 2010.
Prosecutors told jurors the priest told the boy's
parents he needed someone to ride with him to keep him awake and
navigate, and then raped the boy after they arrived at the West
Virginia church. The priest then told the boy that they had
sinned and needed to pray for forgiveness, a prosecutor said.
But Poandl's attorney told jurors that the accuser's
story changed through the years and was full of inconsistencies.