Priest Scheduled for Molestation Sentencing Today

By Jennifer Edwards Baker
February 12, 2014

A longtime Catholic priest will be sentenced today after he was convicted last year of taking a Cincinnati boy to West Virginia and assaulting him in 1991.

Rev. Robert F. Poandl could serve up to 10 years in prison when he appears before a federal court judge in downtown Cincinnati at 9:30 a.m.

Federal jurors found him guilty in September of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent of engaging him in sex.

Poandl belongs to a Fairfield-based Catholic religious order called the Glenmary Home Missioners and is not associated with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

He was relieved of ministerial duties in February 2012 and will remain at a Glenmary retirement-type home until he’s sentenced, a date for which wasn’t set Friday.

Upon the priest’s conviction, Judge Michael Barrett ordered he be monitored by GPS tether and only allowed to leave for doctor appointments and meetings with his lawyer.

Poandl took the boy, with his mother’s permission, on an overnight trip to a rectory in West Virginia.

Once there, Poandl awakened the boy in the middle of the night by having sex with him. The victim told authorities that after the act, Poandl said they had just sinned and needed to pray to God for forgiveness.

The victim, who now is in his 30s and testified at the trial, didn’t tell anyone about the assault for 18 years.

Asst. U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker, chief of criminal division, said the jury saw past the defense’s efforts to undermine the victim’s credibility by bringing up his past abuses of prescription drugs and a 2009 citation for marijuana possession.

According to Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, Poandl’s employment history had “big red flags” because he had been transferred about 30 times in 44 years.

This was the second trial Poandl has faced in the 1991 assault.

The same incident was to be the focus of a state trial in West Virginia in 2010, but the charges were dismissed.

The case was able to be resurrected in federal court because Poandl was accused of taking the boy across state lines, resulting in a charge of transporting a minor for illicit purposes.


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