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.

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Man steals Jeep from dealership during test drive, police say

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 9:17 PM

Police: Man Steals Jeep from Dealership During Test Drive

Authorities are looking for a man who stole a Jeep on Thursday from a dealership during a test drive, police said. 

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The suspect walked into Philly Auto dealership around 7 p.m. and expressed interest in a red Jeep Cherokee on the lot, according to WPVI

The man and a salesman went on a test drive. During the drive, the man started driving erratically and the salesman asked him to pull over, according to WPVI. The salesman started to switch seats with the man when the thief pulled out a gun and drove off, leaving the salesman on the side of the road. 

No shots were fired and there were no injuries. The man has not been seen since the incident.

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Trump slams Mueller, McCabe in Sunday tweets

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 11:07 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 2:08 PM

Preisdent Donald Trump criticized special counsel Robert Mueller on Sunday.
Getty Images
Preisdent Donald Trump criticized special counsel Robert Mueller on Sunday.(Getty Images)

In a flurry of tweets Sunday morning, President Donald Trump criticized special counsel Robert Mueller’s legal team, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former FBI Director James Comey, CNN reported.

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Trump suggested partisan bias, wondering on Twitter why the Mueller team had “13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans?”

Another tweet refuted the news that McCabe had written memos about his interactions with Trump. McCabe told CNN that he had three meetings and one telephone call with the president. 

"Spent very little time with Andrew McCabe, but he never took notes when he was with me," Trump tweeted, calling the memos “fake.”

Trump’s tweets came a day after it was reported that Mueller interviewed McCabe and asked him about Comey’s firing, CNN reported.

Michael Bromwich, McCabe’s attorney, said in a tweet Sunday afternoon that “the whole truth will come out in due course.”

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Victims of the FIU pedestrian bridge collapse: What we know

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 11:49 AM

WATCH: Victims of the FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse

The victims of the Florida International University bridge collapse range in age from 18 to 60.

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They include a father of three, a teenager aspiring for a career in political science and Cuban owners of a party business. 

Their lives all came to an abrupt end on the afternoon of March 15 when a pedestrian bridge at FIU fell, trapping vehicles underneath and injuring numerous lives.

>> Photos: Miami pedestrian bridge collapses

Here’s the latest of what we know about them: 

Brandon Brownfield

He was a husband, father and a tower crane technician for Maxim Crane Works.

He moved to South Florida a few years ago with his wife, Chelsea, and recently purchased a home in Homestead, according to the Miami Herald. 

“After ten years of knowing and loving Brandon, 3 years and 11 months of marriage, and 3 beautiful girls; our love runs deep, and has been strengthened by our faith. I keep trying to find the words to share with you - our friends and family - but nothing feels right,” Chelsea wrote on Facebook. 

He was from Waynseboro, Virginia, and studied at Brevard Community College, according to his Facebook page. 

He leaves behind his wife and three daughters. 

Rolando Fraga 

Rolando Fraga was a 60-year-old systems technician and truck driver who lived near FIU. He was from a town south of Havana, Cuba.

He died when the bridge collapsed on his Jeep Cherokee, according to the Miami Herald

The day before, on the morning of March 14, he posted the following message to Facebook: “Nothing is forever. Coffee gets cold, people leave, time passes and people change.”

Osvaldo Gonzalez

Co-owner of Classic Design Party Rental business, Osvaldo Gonzalez, 57, died when the bridge collapsed on a white van he was in with Alberto Arias.

He came to South Florida from Cuba during the 1980 Mariel boatlift, according to the Miami Herald

Alberto Arias

Alberto Arias, 53, was the other owner of Classic Design Party Rental. He studied at Miami Dade College and previously lived in Havana, Cuba. 

“He went out of his way to help anybody. He was a business owner and he just took a lot of pride in his work and family,” Ismael Segovia, his cousin, told NBC 6

Navarro Brown

Navarro Brown, 37, was an employee with Structural Technologies VSL. He was from Jamaica.

Appelonia Brown, his cousin, told the Miami Herald that he was a “hard-working, humble youth.” 

Alexa Duran

The 18-year-old Florida International University student was a political science major and previously attended Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy High School in Southwest Ranches and Country Club Middle School in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, according to her Facebook profile.

“She is the funniest person I know,” Manny Perez told the Miami Herald

Alexa Duran died when the bridge fell on top of her gray Toyota SUV.

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Former NYC ferry captain who evacuated hundreds on 9/11 dies 

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 2:00 PM

A Statue of Liberty ferry captain who help evacuate people stranded during the 9/11 attacks died Friday.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
A Statue of Liberty ferry captain who help evacuate people stranded during the 9/11 attacks died Friday.(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

New York City firefighter Thomas Phelan, who evacuated hundreds of people from Manhattan during the 9/11 attacks while working as a ferry captain, died Friday.

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Phelan, 45, died of cancer, the New York Daily News reported.

Phelan was working as a Statue of Liberty ferry captain on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists flew two jetliners into the World Trade Center. Phelan turned the boat into a rescue vehicle and played a key role in evacuating people stranded in Lower Manhattan, the Daily News reported.

“He brought supplies, rescue workers & was a huge part of the operation,” according to the NYC Fire Wire Facebook page.

He went on to join New York’s fire department in May 2003, the Daily News reported.

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