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Saturday August 29th, 2015 5:31AM

Former NE Ga. priest jailed on sex charges

By The Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A Roman Catholic priest, who once served in three northeast Georgia towns, is accused of taking a 10-year-old boy to West Virginia for sex more than two decades ago.

The Rev. Robert Poandl, of the Cincinnati-based Glenmary Home Missioners, was placed in the Butler County Jail in southwest Ohio Thursday following an order from a federal magistrate that he be taken into custody.

Poandl voluntarily surrendered to the FBI after learning of the charge, Glenmary said in a statement. An indictment in Cincinnati federal court on Wednesday accused Poandl of taking the boy on Aug. 3, 1991, but didn't list specifics.

Poandl served Catholic parishes and missions in Blairsville, Cleveland and Dahlonega starting in 1979, according to the Blairsville parish's website. (See link below.)

A statement from Glenmary Home Missioners, a society of priests and brothers who say they're dedicated to establishing a Catholic presence in rural areas and small towns, said the indictment is related to a June 2009 accusation of sexual misconduct with a minor in Spencer, W.Va.

The Glenmary statement also said that the religious order has until Dec. 19 to provide documents and other information pertaining to Poandl to the U.S. attorney's office under a subpoena issued for them.

In February, Glenmary said it had relieved Poandl of his ministerial duties in Georgia and asked him to return to the Glenmary residence in Cincinnati.

Poandl has been living under what the order calls "a safety plan" at the Cincinnati residence and has not been functioning as a priest, Glenmary's statement said.

Glenmary president Father Chet Artysiewicz said the order could not comment on the investigation.

"We have just learned of these charges today, and we are working to fully comply with the subpoena and cooperate with investigators," Artysiewicz said in a statement.

Poandl's attorney declined to comment.

In 2010, a judge in West Virginia dismissed charges that accused Poandl of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy while they visited a church there in 1991.

(AccessNorthGa.com's Ken Stanford contributed to this story.)
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