Jury Convicts Priest of Illegal Interstate Transportation of a Minor

CINCINNATI—A United States District Court jury has convicted Robert Frank Poandl, 72, of Fairfield, Ohio, of one count of interstate transportation of a minor for illicit purposes, a federal law known as the Mann Act. Carter M Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kevin R Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); William Hayes, Acting Special Agent in Charge of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Ohio and Michigan; and agencies in the Greater Cincinnati Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force announced the verdict reached today following a trial that began September 16 before United States District Judge Michael R Barrett. According to trial testimony, in August 1991, Poandl transported a 10-year-old boy from Cincinnati to West Virginia, where he sexually assaulted the child. The crime was not disclosed until the victim came forward in 2009.

The crime is punishable by a sentence ranging from zero to 10 years in prison. Judge Barrett will set a date for sentencing. “Today’s verdict should give victims courage to come forward, even if the abuse happened years ago,” United States Attorney Stewart said. A federal grand jury indicted Poandl, known as “Father Bob,” in November 2012.

FBI agents arrested him at the Glenmary Missioners in Fairfield, Ohio. He has been on house arrest with electronic monitoring since his arrest. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims.

For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/. Stewart commended the investigation by FBI agents and investigators with the Greater Cincinnati ICAC and the West Virginia State Police, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Christy Muncy and Timothy Oakley. Agencies participating in the Greater Cincinnati ICAC, in addition to FBI and HSI Agencies and the United States Attorney’s Office, include the United States Marshals Service, United States Secret Service, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil, and the police departments in Amberley Village, Blue Ash, Cincinnati, and West Chester.

Published on: 2013-09-21

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