Rural Priest Accused of Child Sex Abuse in West Virginia

By Dana Clark
Savannah Morning News
May 4, 2010

A south Georgia priest belonging to the Glenmary religious order is awaiting trial involving allegations of sexual misconduct with a 10-year-old boy in West Virginia.

The Rev. Bob Poandl was indicted by a West Virginia grand jury in January on charges that he engaged in sexual misconduct with a child in the early 1990s in Roane County, W.Va.

At the time the allegations surfaced, Poandl was serving as pastor of three area Glenmary missions: St. Christopher in Claxton, Holy Cross in Pembroke and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Sand Hill.

He held those positions beginning in 2007, according to the order's website. Poandl was removed from ministry in Georgia in 2009.

Glenmary president the Rev. Dan Dorsey reported the allegation to law enforcement authorities in Ohio and West Virginia in June 2009, according to a February press release from the Glenmary Home Missioners.

Dorsey also contacted the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and the Diocese of Savannah.

Barbara King, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Savannah, said diocesan officials notified parish members of the allegations.

Poandl was immediately removed from ministry in Georgia and currently lives at the Glenmary headquarters in Cincinnati where he "has not functioned publicly as a Catholic priest," according to the press release.

King said other Glenmary priests were sent to replace Poandl.

The Glenmary order serves the Catholic Church by placing priests in rural missions and parishes throughout the South and Appalachia.

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