Rev. Robert Poandl: Man Testifies He Plotted to Kill Priest Who Sodomized Him

By Greg Noble
September 19, 2013

[with video]

NOTE: Graphic details were discussed during Wednesday's testimony that may be difficult to read or considered inappropriate.

CINCINNATI – A man testified Wednesday that Rev. Robert Poandl sodomized him in a church rectory when he was 10 years old and he later plotted to kill the priest and commit suicide.

Testifying in federal court, the accuser, now 32, said he was haunted by nightmares, experimented with LSD and cocaine while in school and later became addicted to Oxycodone.

He said Poandl “screwed up my life by raping me.”

"I wanted to go and kill him, punish him for what he's done," the accuser said.

All the while, he testified he never told anyone about the 1991 attack for 18 years.

"I didn't tell a single human being until 2009," he said.

He said he felt helpless. He worried that Poandl, a member of the Fairfield-based order Glenmary Home Missioners, could hurt other kids, but he feared what he would go through if he brought charges against a priest.

He testified that he tracked down Poandl online and discovered he was at a mission in Georgia.

Prosecution: “You were going to hunt down the defendant and take his life?

Accuser: “Yes.”

Prosecution:  “Did you contemplate suicide?”

Accuser: “Yes.”

Prosecution: “Did you write a note?

Accuser: “Yes.”

He testified that he had a 12 gauge shotgun, directions and his car packed.

But he finally told his fiancee and his mother about the attack, the accuser said. His parents came to his home and he gave them the shotgun and the suicide note, he said.

Later that year, the accuser pressed charges against Poandl in West Virginia, where the attack allegedly happened.

Prosecution: “Did you ever file a lawsuit against Glenmary?”

Accuser:  “No.”

Prosecution: "Against the Catholic Church?

Accuser:  “No.”

Prosecution: “Against Father Poandl?”

Accuser:  “No.”

“All I want is for him to be in a prison and to protect other kids, that's what I want," the accuser said.

The accuser said Poandl attacked him after he fell asleep on an overnight trip with the priest to Spencer, W.Va., in 1991.

"I awoke and he was sodomizing me. I cried out, ‘What are you doing to me?’" the accuser said.

"He replied, 'We're having sex.'"

Poandl faces one count of transportation of a minor across state lines for illicit purposes. He has pleaded not guilty.

The judge told the jury of eight women and four men that he hopes to give them the case by Thursday or Friday.

The accuser said he and Poandl took separate beds in a rectory bedroom at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.

He testified that he woke up a first time and Poandl was fondling him.

“He had his hand in my pants fondling my genitals," the accuser said.

He said he asked Poandl what he was doing and Poandl said was checking to see if he was wearing underwear.

The accuser testified that Poandl went back to his bed, but he awoke again to find Poandl sodomizing him.

Prosecution: “Was your underwear off?”

Accuser:  “Yes.”

Prosecution: "Were you on your stomach or your back?”

Accuser: “Stomach.”

The prosecution asked what the accuser did then.

"I just sat there and got raped," he said.

Prosecution: "Did he finish?"

Accuser: “Yes.”

Afterward, the accuser said, Poandl stood up, held out his hands and repeated, "I did a bad thing."

“You sinned and I sinned. We need to pray,” Poandl said, according to his accuser.

And they both prayed, the accuser said.

Poandl also told him “this was between you and me and god and that's all that needs to know,”  the accuser said.

When the accuser’s mother testified Tuesday, she said she pleaded with her son to go on the overnight trip with Poandl after Poandl had given their struggling family $800 a week earlier.

The woman testified that her son at first refused to go, but she persisted.

"Father Bob has been so good to us,” she recalled telling her son.

The accuser recounted that Wednesday. He said he remembered that it was the “summer before fifth grade.”

He said Poandl showed up at the family’s Price Hill home on a Saturday afternoon.

His mom asked the boy if he would go on a trip with Poandl because the priest needed someone to keep him awake during the long drive.

The accuser said his teenage brother refused to go and his oldest brother was doing something with school.

“Mom says to me, "He's been very good to us. He's helped us out," the accuser testified.

The accuser testified that the drive was long and boring and he fell asleep.

“Father Bob woke me up and said I was supposed to be navigating,” he testified.

He said everything had seemed normal, but Poandl seemed upset that he had fallen asleep.

The accuser said it was dark when they arrived at the church. He said no one else was staying in the rectory.

The accuser said they stayed in a small upstairs bedroom with two twin beds covered with quilts. There were religious paintings on the walls.

He said Poandl told him to take a shower and afterward he put on a T-shirt and underwear. He said that’s what he usually wore to bed.

On the day after the attack, the accuser



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