Attacked by Judge, Media, Parish etc, Survivor Perseveres and Fr. Robert Poandl Gets Convicted
By Kay Ebeling
Nowhere is the church’s strategy to attack the victim more obvious than in the case of Father Robert Poandl, convicted in federal court September 20 of transporting a minor across state lines for illicit purposes.
It became open season for attacks on the accuser in August 2010 when molestation charges against Poandl were dismissed in Roane County, West Virginia. The judge badmouthed the accuser in open court and defense attorneys made false claims about the crime victim to reporters. Church devotees went online with adoring comments about the priest and hateful assumptions about the victim. David Pierre devoted an entire chapter to Father Poandl being “Falsely Accused” in one of his books. The day of the dismissal a guy named Steve in the UK wrote me that I need to update a blog post from April 2010 about Poandl’s indictment because, the emailer wrote, “This good man has been devastated by someone seeking a large payout.”
Worse yet, after his dismissal Father Bob Poandl himself wrote to parishioners of the Holy Redeemer parish in Spencer, West Virginia, in a letter to be read at Mass:
“Of course, I had known that this man was not trustworthy from the moment that he accused me. I knew that I had not hurt him in any way, let alone committed that terrible crime against him. Because of some very sad history in our Church, my word was strongly questioned.” (As reported in The Charleston Gazette at WV gazette.com)
In September 2010, City of Angels Blog developed a post about the case against Poandl having just been dismissed. Moments before I hit the publish button, the accuser’s brother emailed and I agreed to wait until after the case had been resolved before publishing anything about Poandl. So now three years later here is the story, and clean transcripts of those interviews are published here.
In keeping with the media’s coverage of last month’s trial, we are not publishing the victim’s name, instead referring to him here only as GH, as in “Got Him.”
“I want to see him behind bars. I never filed a civil suit. I want to keep him away from other kids.” (Poandl accuser, GH, August 2010).
How did GH react to the attacks on him after Poandl’s dismissal?
“Since I came forward, it’s so unbelievable that they would react this way. It’s like you’re reading a fiction book,” GH told me by phone in August 2010.
How the case was dismissed in that Spencer, West Virginia courtroom in August 2010 is in itself a study in Catholic Church manipulating and controlling the justice system. In Accuser GH’s own words:
“I had one-day notice of the motion to dismiss. It all happened over the phone. They were in a court setting, and I was sitting in Ohio in Poandl’s defense attorneys’ offices by myself.
“During the hearing Roane County DA Josh Downey only objected one time. The defense honed in on the medical records.
“They tried to steamroll us, we’ve got affidavits. They claim I manipulated the medical records. Fifty two pages of medical records was provided by the doctors me and that’s what I provided to the court.
“The medical records that were missing [which caused the 2010 case to be dismissed] concerned a totally unrelated incident. In 8th grade, three years later I was attacked by two guys, both received felonious assault charges
“That incident had absolutely nothing to do with the incident.”
The priest’s story is that the whole trip never happened. He’s not just calling my brother a liar, but my mother and me as well.
MORE ON THAT HEARING
in West Virginia
in GH’s own words
“I had to take a week off work for the upcoming trial, and make reservations to stay a week in a hotel. Problem is we’re facing the Glenmarys [Poandl’s religious order] and they don’t bat an eye at hiring six hundred dollar an hour lawyers.
“Defense attorney Anita Ashley is one lawyer by herself, they also hired Dimsmoor. That’s one of the highest priced law firms in Cincinnati. They have big nice offices.”
GH’s brother is an attorney and told me in August 2010:
“They lied, they accused my brother of destroying medical records, their private investigator knew that wasn’t true, and they created a false impression
“Defense counsel wrote the Judge’s order, when the judge dismissed the case.
“A team of at least five high paid defense attorneys came up against this one small town in West Virginia with a DA who was two years out of law school.”
GH told me in August 2010 about how he came to pursue charges:
“I’ve been living with this a long time. Recently I found out where Poandl was from the Glenmarry website. I want to see him behind bars. I never filed a civil suit. I want to keep him away from other kids.
“I realized he is in Claxton, Georgia, and he’s going to be around children. He’s in a position of authority and trust, and the parishioners aren’t even aware of what he’s done.”
GH’s family filed a Motion for Reconsideration hoping the Roane County DA would follow-up. He didn’t.
GH’s brother said to me in August 2010:
“I don’t want this pedophile to not be prosecuted.
“The priest’s story is that the whole trip never happened. He’s not just calling my brother a liar, but my mother and me as well. I remember Poandl coming by, I remember my mother asking me to go and I didn’t want to.
“I thought Poandl was creepy [LAUGHS] I do remember thinking he was creepy.”
POANDL GROVELS TO PARISHIONERS
and they believe him
Poandl wrote to the priest and parishioners of the Holy Redeemer parish in Spencer, written Saturday before Poandl left for New Jersey to be with his family.
Poandl thanked them for their prayers and kindness.
“Of course, I had known that this man was not trustworthy from the moment that he accused me. I knew that I had not hurt him in any way, let alone committed that terrible crime against him,” Poandl wrote. “I also know that such lying makes it all the harder for any true victim of such a crime to come forth and be believed. But until Friday and the court ruling, it was simply my word against [his] — and because of some very sad history in our Church, my word was strongly questioned.”
As reported in The Charleston Gazette at WV gazette.com
“The kid made the whole thing up,” David Pierre writes quoting one of the priest’s defense attorneys.
In his book, Priests Falsely Accused, David Pierre can barely contain his glee as he devotes an entire chapter to besmirching the character of the child sex crime victim in this case and piling adoration on the now convicted priest, Robert Poandl. Pierre relishes the wording of the Judge’s order dismissing the first case against Poandl saying,
“In his order dismissing the case, the judge really let the accuser have it.”
Pierre writes, “The accuser proved himself to be completely untrustworthy, which should not have been surprising, because as the case had moved closer to trial, the claims against the priest began to disintegrate.”
Pierre continues: “The kid made the whole thing up.”
Then quoting Church attorney Ashley: “‘The judge concluded [the accuser] was not credible’ the lawyer [for Poandl] continued, ‘You can’t trust him. They were trying to manipulate the evidence to convict an innocent man.’”
More from Ashley in Pierre’s book, “From the beginning it was clear to me that this man [Poandl] was innocent.”
Followed by Pierre’s exculpatory conclusion:
“In over 40 years in ministry, Fr. Poandl had never been accused of any other impropriety before.”
Yes, poor innocent Father Bob
Found guilty in Federal Court three years later.
At bottom of this post is a response from Pierre about the conviction of Father Poandl.
No he has no plan to apologize or rescind Chapter Five of his book.
After the beating this “accuser” went through to get his perpetrator priest convicted,
GH is a true hero.