April 17, 2006

Priest accused of Satanic murder of nun

TOLEDO (OH)
Spero News

By Martin Barillas

The Reverend Gerald Robinson, a 68-year-old Roman Catholic priest, begins today in Toledo OH for the ritualistic murder of a nun, Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, some 26 years ago. Jury selection starts today in a case that has galvanized the Catholic community of this Ohio metropolis for a quarter century. Rev. Robinson has pleaded not guilty and faces a possible life sentence if convicted. He has been on leave from the priesthood since 2004.

The investigation of the murder had been stymied since 1980, but a letter from an alleged victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Robinson came to light when the Toledo leader of Survivorsí Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Claudia Vercellotti, forwarded it to the Ohio Attorney General. The alleged abuse victim had tendered the letter to diocesan officials in Toledo in 2003, having requested reimbursement for psychological counseling. The woman claimed to have been the childhood victim of Robinson, and also victimized by other priests in satanic sex rituals. The unidentified woman fingered Robinson as one of several priests who sexually molested her and forced her to participate in obscene rituals. Another woman and her husband filed suit against the diocese in 2005, also alleging sexual abuse and satanic rituals.

The Pahl case was cold, even though Robinson had always been a prime suspect, until Vercellotti passed the victimís letter on to the Attorney Generalís office in September 2003 after having concluded that Catholic officials had been too slow to respond. Robinson has not faced any sexual abuse charges, however.

Posted by kshaw at April 17, 2006 10:56 AM