The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Thursday, February 11, 2010
Predator priest indicted; Victims respond
Statement by Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Director, 636-433-2511, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
We hope that Fr. Poandl will tell the truth in his court appearance tomorrow. We also hope Catholic officials - in both Ohio and West Virginia - will tell the truth about why they kept quiet about these allegations for over six months. Such secrecy is immoral and reckless, and may have led to other kids being abused too.
We applaud this brave young man for having the strength to report these crimes and contact law enforcement. We hope others will be inspired by his courage and will also step forward, call police, get help, protect others and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the nation’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around since 1988 and have more than 9,000 members across the country. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915 home), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747), Peter Isely (414-429-7259), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell)
Priest indicted on sex charges
By DAVID HEDGES
A Catholic priest from Cincinnati was indicted by a Roane grand jury last week on charges he molested a 10-year-old who traveled with him to Spencer almost 20 years ago.
Robert F. Poandl, 68, is named in a three-count indictment charging him with 1st degree sexual assault, 1st degree sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a custodian.
The charges stem from a complaint filed last year by a 28-year-old Cincinnati man who told State Police he was molested by Poandl in August 1991 at the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church rectory.
Sgt. D.B. Swiger of the State Police Crimes Against Children unit said the trip was to allow Poandl to fill in for the regular priest.
“He came to Spencer to cover a mass for whoever was the assigned priest at that time,” Swiger said.
“They were in Spencer essentially just for hours,” he said. “It was an overnight trip.”
The charges allege Poandl had sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old under his temporary care.
The grand jury finished a two-day session Wednesday afternoon, and Poandl appeared before Roane Circuit Judge David Nibert the following day for arraignment. He is slated to return Friday, Feb. 12 for a preliminary hearing.
Poandl is part of the Glenmary Home Missioners, a religious society based in Cincinnati that serves rural communities.
Glenmary supplied priests to the Spencer church from its formation in the late 1950s until 2003, when the church went from a mission to one served by priests from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.
According to the Glenmary Web site, Poandl has served in various leadership roles and also as pastor of churches in Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi since becoming a priest in 1968.
Father Dan Dorsey, president of Glemnary, said he learned of the allegations last June. He said that is when Poandl was removed as pastor in Georgia and relocated to the headquarters in Cincinnati.
“When we receive any allegations, until the matter is resolved they are taken out of active ministry,” he said.
“Having any allegations against any of our members is a serious thing,” Dorsey said. “Even one allegation or one instance is one too many.”
Dorsey said the alleged victim was not a member of the local church or community, but was someone that came with Poandl on his trip to Spencer.
“My understanding is he was in Spencer filling in for the priest for a weekend,” he said. “This was somebody that accompanied him.”
Dorsey said it would be up to the judicial system to determine the facts of the case.
“It’s a very painful situation for everyone involved,” he said. “It’s my hope and prayer that God’s loving guidance will help all of those affected in this situation.”
Spencer attorneys Anita Ashley and Dennis Curry represented Poandl at his arraignment last week. He was released on $15,000 bond set by Nibert while awaiting the preliminary hearing this week.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests