March 02, 2005

nun's slaying Polygraph didn't lie, officials say Defense lawyers dispute report priest failed exam

Toledo Blade

blade staff writer

Under attack for stating that murder suspect Father Gerald Robinson "failed" the first of two polygraphs, investigators yesterday stood by the results of the tests administered 24 years ago that indicated the cleric was being untruthful.

In a news conference earlier in the day, Father Robinson's defense lawyers questioned the validity of a lie detector exam Father Robinson took on April 18, 1980 - 13 days after Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was stabbed and strangled in the Mercy Hospital chapel.

Reading from the report by the polygraph examiner James Wiegand, attorney Henry Herschel said the examiner wrote that he "was of the opinion that truthfulness could not be verified."

"The examiner," Mr. Herschel said, "did not use the word 'failed' in his report."

Mr. Herschel, who represented the priest in 1980, was among the lawyers who appeared yesterday for a news conference to challenge the findings released in court documents Monday.

The records supported police searches last year at Toledo diocese offices by investigators who had reopened the murder case.

Posted by kshaw at March 2, 2005 08:30 AM