Judge Dismisses Sex Abuse Charges

News and Sentinel
September 2, 2010

SPENCER - A circuit court judge dismissed charges Friday against an Ohio priest accused of sexual abuse.

Charges against the Rev. Robert F. Poandl were dismissed with prejudice, which means prosecutors could not refile the same charges, by Roane County Circuit Judge David W. Nibert. The ruling was delayed for 90 days by Nibert to give prosecutors a chance to appeal to the West Virginia Supreme Court.

The charges of first-degree sexual assault, first-degree sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a custodian were dismissed because prosecutors had failed to comply with a court order to produce medical records, according to Anita Ashley, one of Poandl's lawyers.

The charges were filed after a 28-year-old Cincinnati man told police Poandl, who is associated with the Cincinnati-based religious organization Glenmary Home Missioners, had molested him during a visit to Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Spencer in 1991. At the time of the alleged incident, the victim was 10 years old.

Poandl was indicted in February and the trial was scheduled to begin Monday.

The National Survivor Advocates Coalition, an advocacy network, has urged prosecutors to appeal Nibert's ruling, saying it was dismissed on a technicality.

"We're troubled by the unusual circumstances of this delay," said Kristine Ward of Dayton, Ohio, chairman of the coalition. "Trials get postponed all the time for various reasons. Somewhere out there there are others who can shed light on these allegations."

Poandl's attorney disagreed.

"It's not like we're turning some child abuser loose," Ashley said. "He was wrongly accused."


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