Former Miss. Catholic priest goes to prison for molesting child - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Former Miss. Catholic priest goes to prison for molesting child

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A Catholic priest who worked in five Mississippi towns is going to prison for molesting a young boy.

According to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a US federal court judge in Cincinnati has sentenced Fr. Robert Poandl to 7.5 years behind bars for taking a ten year old Ohio boy to Spencer, WV and sexually abusing him in 1991.

Poandl worked in the Jackson diocese between 1968-1973 at five parishes: St. Francis in Aberdeen, St. Helen's in Armory, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Houston, St. Theresa's in Okolona, and Christ the King in Fulton. Catholic officials transferred him about 30 times in 44 years. 

"That alone is a serious red flag," said Judy Jones of SNAP, a Chicago-based support group. "A number of bishops and other church officials have acted dreadfully in this case, even in recent years, despite this victim's credible abuse report, Catholic officials put Fr. Poandl back on the job as recently as 2012."

"This brave victim and his family should be praised for their courage and their determination," said Jones. "Their compassion and bravery has put this child predator in jail and away from innocent children. It was a long ordeal, but they did not give up."

"We fear there could be many others who have been hurt by Fr. Poandl and are still suffering in silence and shame," she emphasized "Victims often stay trapped and quiet unless they're gently but firmly encouraged to speak up, get help, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing. That is what bishops in each diocese where Fr. Poandl worked should have done years ago and should do now."

SNAP is calling on Jackson Catholic officials to:

 

  • visit each parish where Fr. Poandl worked and beg anyone who may have knowledge of or suspicions about clergy sex crimes or cover ups – involving Fr. Poandl or other priests - to contact police
  • post his guilty verdict and sentence on parish and diocesan web sites and in diocese newspapers and church bulletins.

 

SNAP tells us that Poandl belongs to a Fairfield Ohio-based Catholic religious order called the Glenmary Missioners and had church assignments in OH, PA, TX, KY, LA, MS, OK, GA., and WV.

In June 2009, his church supervisors suspended Poandl from three Georgia parishes because of child sex abuse allegations.

In Sept. 2010, those church officials put Poandl back on the job at the same three parishes.

In Feb. 2012, they suspended him again, allegedly because of a second abuse allegation.

In Aug. 2012, a third child sex abuse allegation was made against Poandl.

In Nov. 2012, he was indicted on federal charges, and in Nov. 2013, Poandl was found guilty after a jury trial.

"Because Fr. Poandl was in ministry so long at so many places - as recently as 2012 -there could be even more recent victims," said David Clohessy of SNAP. "So we think he might be charged elsewhere for more crimes. And we suspect that some of his church superiors or colleagues might be charged with crimes too, like endangering kids, destroying evidence, obstructing justice, tampering with witnesses and the like. But first, others who saw, suspected or suffered these crimes or cover ups must step forward and call police."

His photo and detailed work history are here:

http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Poandl_Robert_F_ghm.htm


You can visit SNAP's website at SNAPnetwork.org

 

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