A Catholic priest, who years ago served in five Mississippi parishes, was sentenced to 7½ years in prison Wednesday on federal child sex abuse charges.
Bob Poandl was found guilty in September in U.S. District Court in
Cincinnati. He brought a 10-year-old Cincinnati old boy to Spencer,
W.Va., in August 1991 and sexually assaulted the child.
first assignments after taking his holy vows were in Mississippi, where
he worked from 1968-73 at Catholic parishes in Aberdeen, Amory,
Okolona, Houston and Fulton.
Catholic officials transferred Poandl to
different parishes about 30 times in his 44 years in the priesthood.
alone is a serious red flag,” Judy Jones, a member of the Chicago-based
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, said in a news release.
“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 Father Poandl back on the job as recently
brave victim and his family should be praised for their courage and
their determination,” Jones said in the release. “We fear there could
be many others who have been hurt by Father Poandl and are still
suffering in silence and shame.”
said SNAP is calling on the Catholic Diocese of Jackson to visit each
parish where Poandl was assigned and ask anyone who may have knowledge
of or suspicions about clergy sex crimes to contact police.
of Jackson communications director Mary Woodward said her office has
sent two letters to all of the state’s parishes — one informing them of
the allegations and a second informing them of Poandl’s conviction.
Parishes also have been visited, she said.
sent the letters as soon as the allegations came out, asking anyone who
had been abused to come forward and report it,” Woodward said. “Another
letter was sent more recently. If anyone is aware of abuse, they are
asked to contact the victims’ assistance program at Catholic Charities.”
SNAP also encourages victims or those who know of crimes to contact local law enforcement.