Rev. Robert Poandl: Convicted Child Molester Says He Is Dying, Requests Lighter Sentence

February 12, 2014

CINCINNATI – The Fairfield Catholic priest convicted of molesting a 10-year-old boy says he is dying of cancer and is asking a federal judge for a lighter sentence. But the judge has just the opposite idea.

Judge Michael R. Barrett informed Rev. Robert Poandl that he was actually considering a harsher sentence than federal guidelines call for.

Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday.


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Poandl, who turns 73 in May, is likely to die before the end of the year, his attorney, Stephen J. Wenke, said in his plea.

Poandl has Stage IV urothelial cancer, Wenke said.

Barrett said he was considering a sentence of up to 96 months (eight years) based on the pre-sentence report.

Sentencing guidelines call for 41 to 51 months (roughly 3 1/2 to 4 1/4 years), the judge said.

Last September, a jury convicted Poandl of one count of transportation of a minor across state lines for illicit purposes in a 22-year-old case.

A 32-year-old Cincinnati man testified that Poandl raped him in 1991 on an overnight trip to a parish church in Spencer, W.Va. He said Poandl attacked him while he was sleeping in the parish rectory, and that Poandl apologized and said Mass the next day.

The accuser's mother testified he did not tell his parents or anyone else about the attack for 18 years until 2009. The man said he suffered nightmares after the attack, experimented with LSD and cocaine, got hooked on Oxycodone and plotted to kill the priest and commit suicide.

Poandl is a member of Fairfield-based Glenmary Home Missioners, a religious order serving rural communities. It is not affiliated with the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, according to an archdiocese spokesperson.

In February 2012, Poandl was accused of sexual misconduct and was relieved of his ministerial duties, a Glenmary spokesperson said. The alleged incident took place nearly 30 years earlier when the victim was a minor.

After that accusation, Poandl lived under a safety plan at Glenmary's Fairfield residence and was not allowed to function as a priest or wear the white collar.

Poandl was indicted in the West Virginia case 10 months later in November 2012. He was put under house arrest and required to wear an ankle bracelet, which the court monitors.

Poandl is prohibited from leaving the Glenmary residence except for legal or medical appointments and is always accompanied by at least one Glenmarian when he leaves the residence, the spokesperson said.


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