PDA

View Full Version : Ohio priest found guilty of nun's 1980 murder


Rocketta
May 11th, 2006, 08:21 PM
Ohio priest found guilty of nun's 1980 murder

By Bill Frogameni1 hour, 16 minutes ago



A 68-year-old Catholic priest was found guilty on Thursday in the 1980 murder of an elderly nun, a crime that prosecutors said had Satanic undertones and may have been covered up by church leaders.

The Rev. Gerald Robinson appeared stony-faced as the verdict was read, and he blinked repeatedly and glanced at his lawyers before being led away in handcuffs. The jury deliberated less than seven hours.

He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison by Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Osowik, who gave Robinson 30 days to appeal.

Robinson had been free on bail raised by supporters since his arrest in 2004. He had been relieved of his priestly duties by the Toledo diocese since then but remained a priest, wearing his clerical collar throughout the two-week trial.

The crime occurred in the sacristy adjoining the hospital chapel in downtown Toledo on the Saturday before Easter in 1980. Investigators said the nun, Margaret Ann Pahl, 71, was strangled and then stabbed, with nine wounds on her chest forming the shape of an inverted cross, a well-recognized Satanic symbol.

An altar cloth was draped over her half-naked body, which was posed as if she had been sexually assaulted.

"It was about how he could humiliate her the most," prosecutor Dean Mandros said in closing arguments. "He left a message for everyone to see ... maybe to God himself."

Claudia Vercellotti, a local leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests who had helped reopen the case, said "I'm devastated it took the horrific death of a Catholic nun to bring vicarious justice to all survivors.

One of Robinson's supporters, crying after the verdict was read, said to Vercellotti, "I hope you rot in hell!"

AN EARLY SUSPECT

The investigation in 1980 initially centered on Robinson, the hospital's chaplain and a priest of the Toledo Catholic Diocese.

A retired police detective testified that his interrogation of Robinson was interrupted by a superior, who was accompanied by a high-ranking church official. The now-retired deputy chief ordered Robinson released and case reports sent to him.

No one was charged, and Robinson presided over Pahl's funeral Mass.

The case was reopened in 2003 after prosecutors obtained a letter from an unidentified woman charging that Toledo priests including Robinson had molested her and engaged in Satanic rituals. She turned to Vercellotti after the diocese ignored her pleas for help.

"The steel armor of cover-up that's been so pervasive in my diocese has finally been cracked," Vercellotti said.

Prosecutors refused to comment on whether church leaders might face charges for obstructing the investigation at the time of the murder or if they withheld evidence after it was reopened.

"We weren't anxious to be on the other side of the church," prosecutor Mandros said.



Robinson stabbed the nun with his letter opener, a miniature sword, based on blood splatter patterns and a wound in her jawbone after her body was exhumed, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said Robinson was motivated by anger at what he said was Pahl's domineering personality that culminated in her complaints about how he had conducted a Good Friday service the night before the murder.

Robinson also lied repeatedly to investigators, telling them at one point he had heard the murderer's confession. Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair said in a statement that he hoped the trial's conclusion "will bring some measure of healing for all those affected by the case."

Nicjac
May 11th, 2006, 08:33 PM
I followed that case a little bit. And was amazed that Kathy Reichs testified for the defendant.

Helen Lawson
May 11th, 2006, 08:41 PM
I always think, maybe God forgives for cold-blooded murder, but I mean, murdering a nun, that's really bad! :o

Dana Marcy
May 11th, 2006, 09:01 PM
The Catholic Church involved in a cover-up?? Nuh uh! :devil:

hablo
May 11th, 2006, 09:06 PM
I always wonder how the Church justifies to itself all these cover-ups, such as this one or the pedophile (priests) ones as well :o
it's unreal...

GrandSlam05
May 11th, 2006, 09:14 PM
That.....is a LIE!

Helen Lawson
May 11th, 2006, 09:17 PM
That.....is a LIE!

Maybe just a little true.....

RVD
May 11th, 2006, 09:17 PM
I always wonder how the Church justifies to itself all these cover-ups, such as this one or the pedophile (priests) ones as well :o
it's unreal...They cover it up by saying 'God Forgives so we should too'..., and then they hide 'em. :tape:

Rocketta
May 11th, 2006, 10:37 PM
I know isn't it scary that someone of God would cover-up a murder? :rolleyes:

hablo
May 11th, 2006, 10:41 PM
They cover it up by saying 'God Forgives so we should too'..., and then they hide 'em. :tape:
Ugh maybe you're right! Never thought of it that way! :(

No Name Face
May 12th, 2006, 03:41 AM
ah..the catholic church...more decadent than the bush administration

Wigglytuff
May 12th, 2006, 05:28 AM
this is sick! I can't even believe that there are people that would be upset that such a vicious and distrubed murderer was brought to justice!

RVD
May 12th, 2006, 06:02 AM
A 68-year-old Catholic priest was found guilty on Thursday in the 1980 murder of an elderly nun, a crime that prosecutors said had Satanic undertones and may have been covered up by church leaders.

He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison by Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Osowik, who gave Robinson 30 days to appeal.

Prosecutors said Robinson was motivated by anger at what he said was Pahl's domineering personality that culminated in her complaints about how he had conducted a Good Friday service the night before the murder.

Robinson also lied repeatedly to investigators, telling them at one point he had heard the murderer's confession. Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair said in a statement that he hoped the trial's conclusion "will bring some measure of healing for all those affected by the case."Do any attorneys here know why this guy wasn't sentenced to death?
This did seem to be a very heinous crime. And definitely premeditated.

I ask due to the nature of the crime, and because Ohio is one of the oldest States to observe such punishment. http://www.drc.state.oh.us/Public/capital.htm

Also, has a priest, convicted of murder in the U.S. ever received the death penalty.

Rocketta
May 12th, 2006, 02:42 PM
Do any attorneys here know why this guy wasn't sentenced to death?
This did seem to be a very heinous crime. And definitely premeditated.

I ask due to the nature of the crime, and because Ohio is one of the oldest States to observe such punishment. http://www.drc.state.oh.us/Public/capital.htm

Also, has a priest, convicted of murder in the U.S. ever received the death penalty.

isn't amazing how sentences are handed out in this country. :fiery:

I've never heard of priest being convicted of murder period well until this case. :confused: