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Priest Indicted, Arrested, Detained for Interstate Transportation of a Minor to Commit Sex

CINCINNATI—A federal grand jury has charged Robert Frank Poandl, 71, of Fairfield with one count of transportation of a minor across state lines for illicit purposes.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); William Hayes, Acting Special Agent in Charge of U.S. 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 indictment today following Poandl’s arrest by FBI agents at the Glenmary Missioners in Fairfield where Poandl, known as “Father Bob,” lives.

The indictment alleges that in August 1991, Poandl took a 10-year-old boy across state lines with intent to engage in sexual activity with him. The crime is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

During Poandl’s initial appearance, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Muncy told U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Bowman that Poandl had transported a 10-year-old boy from Cincinnati to West Virginia in 1991, where he is alleged to have sexually assaulted the child, and that he has substantial international travel and connections across the country, which makes him a flight risk. Muncy also told the court that the crime was not disclosed until the victim came forward. Magistrate Judge Bowman ordered Poandl detained and scheduled a detention hearing for Monday, November 19, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.

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 U.S. 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

Stewart commended the investigation by FBI agents and investigators with the Greater Cincinnati ICAC and the West Virginia State Police, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Muncy.

Agencies participating in the Greater Cincinnati ICAC, in addition to FBI and HSI Agencies participating in the task force in addition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office include the U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis, and the police departments in Amberley Village, Blue Ash, Cincinnati, and West Chester.

An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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