Sex Abuse Charges Dismissed against Priest Who Once Served in New Orleans

By Bruce Nolan
The Times-Picayune
September 23, 2010

The Rev. Robert Poandl, a member of the Glenmary Home Missioners, supervised a group of young Loyola University students living in community while they considered whether they wanted to join the Glenmary order.

Poandl left New Orleans in 1975 after two years of service. Earlier this year authorities in Roane County indicted him on charges related to the rape of a 10-year-old boy in Spencer, W. Va., in 1991. Archbishop Gregory Aymond subsequently publicized news of Poandl's indictment, as a local survivors' group requested, in the event Poandl might have harmed people in New Orleans who had been too intimidated to speak out.

Poandl's superiors suspended his ministry after the accusation. The criminal case was about to come to trial in West Virginia when the judge dismissed the charges with prejudice, meaning they cannot be refiled. The court said the state and the victim withheld certain medical records in pretrial discovery.

A West Virginia victims group criticized the ruling, saying it found the victim's story credible. The state has 90 days to appeal the ruling.

Bruce Nolan can be reached at or 504.826.3344.


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