Cincy priest pleads not guilty to sex charges in WV - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Cincy priest pleads not guilty to sex charges in WV

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SPENCER, W.Va. (AP) - A Catholic priest from Cincinnati pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he sexually abused a 10-year-old boy in West Virginia in 1991.

Roane County Circuit Judge David W. Nibert scheduled Robert F. Poandl's trial for June 15. The 68-year-old priest was indicted last month after a 28-year-old Cincinnati man told police that Poandl molested him during a visit to the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in August 1991.

State Police said Poandl came to Spencer with the boy to cover a Mass for the priest assigned to Holy Redeemer.

Poandl and his attorneys, Anita Ashley and Dennis Curry, declined comment after the hearing.

Poandl is charged with first-degree sexual assault, first-degree sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a custodian. He is associated with the Glenmary Home Missioners, a religious society in Cincinnati. Glenmary has said Poandl was removed from his ministry assignment last year after it learned of the allegations but remains a resident at the headquarters.

 "This is a very difficult, painful time for everyone associated with this case," said the Rev. Dan Dorsey, Glenmary's president.

Since Poandl became a priest in 1968, has served in various leadership roles at Glenmary and as pastor at churches in Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi. Members of the Chicago-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests have criticized the church for not disclosing the allegations when they first learned of them last summer.

"Such secrecy is immoral and reckless, and may have led to other kids being abused, too," Judy Jones, the group's Midwest director, said in a prepared statement.

Poandl is free on a $15,000 bond.

 (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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