Priest indicted on federal sex crime charge
Feds say Poandl took boy to W.Va., sexually assaulted him
CINCINNATI —A federal grand jury has indicted a Fairfield priest with transportation of a minor across state lines for illicit purposes.
Poandl was moved from his ministry assignment in Georgia when the allegation came to light and brought to Cincinnati. He has not publicly functioned as a Catholic priest since he was moved.
FBI agents descended on Glenmary Home Missionaries in Fairfield on Thursday. A spokeswoman for the missionary said they came with a warrant for Poandl’s arrest.
Poandl was traveling at the time, the spokeswoman said, and turned himself in to the Kenwood FBI office, where he’ll answer to the federal charge.
“I was yelling hooray for the victims and for kids,” said Judy Jones, associate director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. “Hopefully they can’t be harmed anymore by this predator.”
Jones said Poandl was indicted in this same case two years ago but the charges were dismissed.
Glenmary’s president issued this statement saying, “We have just learned of these charges today, and we are working to fully comply with the subpoena and cooperate with investigators.”
Jones said she has been in touch with several alleged victims. They didn’t want to be interviewed for fear of compromising the investigation, but they wanted to get a message across.
If convicted, Poandl faces up to 10 years in prison.
New Abuse Allegations Against Fmr Savannah Priest
By: Andrew Davis | WSAV News 3
Published: August 22, 2012
Updated: August 22, 2012 – 11:39 PM
ATLANTA, GA/SAVANNAH. GA —
A former Savannah Diocese priest is facing a new allegation of sexual abuse, and calls from at least one group for him to be removed from the clergy.
This is now the 3rd person who has come forward claiming Father Robert Poandl molested him when the victim was just a boy, in this case about 10 years old.
In this case, the Atlanta man has filed a police report about the alleged abuse.
From 2010-2012 Father Poandl worked in churches in Claxton, Pembroke and Sandhill.
But earlier this year and for the second time in three years, Father Poandl was suspended from Georgia Catholic Parishes because of alleged child sex crimes.
This isn’t the first time questions have arose about the priest.
He was cleared of sexual abuse charges in West Virginia back in 2010.
Father Poandl is currently in a Cincinnati clergy residence, but is not functioning as a priest.
The head of the Glenmary Home Missioners, which Poandl is a member, said in a statement that they have requested a copy of the police report and have a professional independent investigator looking into the allegations.
The group’s president, Father Chet Artysiewicz, added in part;
“Glenmary is committed, first and foremost, to making every possible effort to prevent misconduct by any of its members, and we also remain committed to facilitating healing for all those involved in any instances of sexual misconduct by providing an open, compassionate pastoral response.”
News 3 spoke to the Diocese of Savannah as well, they are aware of the allegations as well, but are letting Glenmary handle the investigation, and any comments.
Priest accused of sexual misconduct again
A priest that was a member of the Glenmary Home Missioners, a Catholic society in Fairfield of priests and brothers who are dedicated to establishing a Catholic presence in rural areas and small towns of the United States, has been alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct for a second time.
Authorities allege that Father Bob Poandl was involved in an incident that took place in the 1980s in the diocese of Savannah, Georgia. A police report containing these allegations was filed on July 14 with the Union County (Ga.) Sheriff’s Department.
Poandl had originally been accused in February of child sex abuse that occurred 30 years ago in West Virginia.
Poandl was brought back to Cincinnati and relieved of his duties following the first set of allegations, the charges of which were dismissed by a West Virginia judge. Poandl has been living at Glenmary’s Cincinnati residence since then and has not been functioning as a priest.
“I have requested a copy of the July 14 police report,” Father Artysiewicz, president of the Glenmary Home Missioners, said. “We have also been in contact with the district attorney in Blairsville, Ga., who was also not aware of the police report. Once I receive the report, Glenmary will begin a preliminary investigation. We don’t know anything about the accuser at this time, but it’s my hope that I can find a way to reach out to this person as soon as possible.”
“Glenmary is committed, first and foremost, to making every possible effort to prevent misconduct by any of its members,” Father Artysiewicz said. “And we also remain committed to facilitating healing for all those involved in any instances of sexual misconduct by providing an open, compassionate pastoral response.”