Priest found guilty of sex charges

Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 5:25 PM
Updated: Friday, September 20, 2013 @ 5:25 PM

A Catholic priest accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy 22 years ago was found guilty of sex charges in federal court Friday.

Rev. Robert Poandl, of Fairfield-based Glenmary Home Missioners, was found guilty of one count of transporting a minor in interstate commerce with the intent of engaging him in sex, a charge that carries a possible sentence of up to 10 years in prison.

No bond was set on Poandl. He was ordered to have no contact with minors and will be fitted with a global tracking device.

Poandl, 72, took the boy to Spencer, W.Va., on Aug. 3, 1991, and raped him while visiting a church there, prosecutors said. Poandl’s attorney, Stephen Wenke, told jurors the allegations were false and denied the boy was even on the trip.

The accuser, who’s now in his 30s, waited until 2009 before telling law enforcement officials in West Virginia that he’d been abused. Poandl was indicted there on charges accusing him of sexually abusing the boy, but a judge dismissed those charges in 2010.

Assistant U.S. attorney Tim Oakley told jurors that the priest told the boy’s parents he needed someone to ride with him to keep him awake and navigate and then raped the boy after they arrived at the West Virginia church. But Wenke said the accuser’s story changed through the years and was full of inconsistencies.

The latest charge was filed last year in Cincinnati. The trial began Monday after U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett had earlier rejected a defense motion to dismiss the case over a statute of limitations. The judge ruled the prosecution clearly alleged an offense involving sexual abuse of a child, and federal law permits prosecution of child sexual abuse at any time during the life of the accuser.

The Glenmary religious order is a society of priests and brothers who dedicate themselves to establishing a Catholic presence in rural areas and small towns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Two men arrested following dispute over car repossession

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 9:24 PM

Eric Brown and Matt Naff (Contributed/Miami County Jail)

A dispute between an man attempting to "repo" a vehicle and the vehicle’s owner involved an argument, a threat, and shots fired at a residence in the area of State Route 571 and Rangeline Road in Miami County.

Detectives later executed a search warrant on the home where the owner, 34-year-old, Matt Naff, was arrested and jailed.

The man involved in the attempted repossession of the vehicle, 54-year-old Eric Brown of West Milton, was arrested and booked into the Miami County Jail in Troy.

Both are charged with one count each of felonious assault, according to a police report.

Deputies recovered two handguns, ammunition and spent bullet casings at the scene, according to the report.

No one was shot during the dispute, according to deputies.

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Harvard will hold black-only graduation ceremony

Published: Tuesday, May 09, 2017 @ 3:03 PM

Black Harvard University students raised money for a separate graduate ceremony in addition to the main ceremony. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Black graduate students at Harvard University will soon be a part of a first-of-its-kind ceremony.

On May 23, the prestigious university will hold an individual ceremony for black graduate students, according to a report by The Root. The ceremony, which took a year to plan, celebrates “fellowship,” not “segregation,” Michael Huggins, a graduate student who will receive a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School this month, told The Root. 

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“This is an opportunity to celebrate Harvard’s black excellence and black brilliance,” Huggins told the online publication. “It’s an event where we can see each other and our parents and family can see us as a collective, whole group. A community.”

More than 120 students have registered to partake in the ceremony, which will be held at Holmes Field, near the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The students raised more than $27,000 to pay for the ceremony and a reception that will follow. The student body hopes to organize a similar ceremony for black undergraduate students at Harvard next year, Huggins said.

The graduate students still plan to participate in the school’s main ceremony later this month. Last year, Harvard was named the No. 2 best college for African-Americans by Essence and Money magazines.

“This is not about segregation,” Huggins told The Root. “It’s about fellowship and building a community. This is a chance to reaffirm for each other that we enter the work world with a network of supporters standing with us. We are all partners.”

This Harvard senior is the school’s first to write a rap album for his final thesis

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 9:50 PM

Obasi Shaw poses outside the gates of Harvard Yard in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday, May 18, 2017. Shaw, an English major who graduates from Harvard next week, is the university's first student to submit his final thesis in the form of a rap album. The record, called “Liminal Minds,” has earned the equivalent of an A- grade, good enough to ensure that Shaw will graduate with honors at the university’s commencement next week.  (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/AP

For the first time in Harvard University history, a student submitted a senior thesis in the form of a rap album.

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Obasi R. Shaw, a 20-year-old senior from Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, presented his English thesis using rhyme and reason to illuminate the black experience in the U.S., tackling topical social issues in a 10-track record called “Liminal Minds,” The Harvard Crimson reported.

RELATED: Here’s why Harvard is holding an individual graduation ceremony for black students this month 

His project went on to earn an A-, paving the road for him to graduate with honors next week.

According to The Crimson, Shaw’s creative thesis was inspired by “The Canterbury Tales” and historical leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr.

One of his tracks, “Understand,” even incorporates lines from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

RELATED: Presidential order could help Atlanta’s historic black colleges and universities 

“Liminal Minds” also alludes to the Black Lives Matter movement, former President Barack Obama and segregation and slavery.

"Rap is a historically black form of art, and if I want to tell a story of black people, the most appropriate art form is to use their art form — to use our art form," he told the Crimson. "This is one of the very few forms of art that black people can claim as their own.”

When asked about his favorite lines, Shaw quoted a few from “Understand.”

“When the drugs got us hooked like the myth from Peter Pan / Getting high off the dust hoping we never land / Ain’t our own fault we lose our boys in the end.”

Shaw told The Crimson the wordplay in the last line, “in the end,” sounds like “Indian,” and alludes to the Native Americans who supposedly lived in Neverland.

Watch his performance of the track at Harvard’s first Battle of the Bands, where he won first place:

Florida DUI suspect sends patrol car into ‘don’t drink and drive’ cruiser

Published: Monday, May 22, 2017 @ 9:26 PM

(Facebook.com/sheriffcitrus)

A Florida man accused of drunk driving earned a trip to jail and some ribbing from the sheriff’s office.

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On Saturday night, Paul M. Wilkins, 63, of Crystal River drove his car into a parked patrol car that had its lights flashing, which was pushed into another patrol car, that had been freshly emblazoned with a “Don’t Drink and Drive” slogan, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol trooper’s report, Wilkins said he occasionally “doesn’t know what he’s doing” and had been drinking and hadn’t eaten anything since early that morning.

No one was injured in the incident at U.S. Highway 19 and Citrus Avenue during Pirate Fest. The next day, a post on the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page couldn’t help but note the amusing coincidence.

Wilkins was charged with DUI and remained in jail as of Monday afternoon on $1,000 bond.