An evil priest is finally going to pay the brutal ritualistic murder of an old nun 26 years ago.
The Rev. Gerald Robinson, 68, was convicted by an Ohio jury this morning for his satanic crime. They deliberated for just over six hours, and the blood-stained priest was immediately sentenced to 15 years to life.
It was on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter) in 1980 when 71-year-old Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was found strangled and stabbed to death in the sacristy of Mercy Hospital's chapel.
She was stabbed some 30 times in the pattern of an upside-down cross and then covered with an altar cloth.
The Toledo Diocese began a massive cover-up that lasted for a quarter-century, even though the evil priest was an early suspect in the gruesome crime.
Robinson appeared as calm and emotionless as he has throughout the trial. Reporters covering the trial noticed that he would "come to life" when the jury wasn't in the courtroom, being very outgoing with his lawyers.
Prosecutor Julia Bates can now go after the Catholic church for obstruction of justice, the Toledo Blade reported today.
Claudia Vercellotti of the local Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests group said the church cover-up is massive.
"This case embodied far more than a murder, if that's possible. It embodied the culture of cover-up. It's time it's cracked," Vercellotti said.
Her group helped re-open the 26-year-old murder case after a local woman said she had been ritually abused by Robinson and other priests.
"Toledo Diocese spokesman Sally Oberski said the unprecedented murder conviction of a priest has left her and the Diocese at a loss," the Blade reported. "The Vatican will most likely get involved, she said, but she could not say exactly what the process would be for dealing with the future of Robinson in the church."
Outrageiously, Robinson is still an ordained priest of the Catholic Church. The only action taken against him after his arrest in 2004 was barring him from holding Mass or other public priestly duties. He continued to wear the collar and costume of the Catholic clergy with the diocese's approval.
This afternoon, Robinson's lawyers said they would appeal the verdict, but they wouldn't say on what issue they would attempt to appeal.
Sicker than fiction
At the same time the Vatican is running a multi-million-dollar campaign to convince the public that priests aren't crazy ritual murderers just because there's such a character in "The Da Vinci Code" novel and movie, the conviction of Robinson proves just the opposite.
Beyond the diocese's cover-up of Robinson's horrific crime, there's the awful issue of a whole coven of priests who ritually and sexually abused children for decades.
Far beyond the all-too-common individual molestation of children by priests, Robinson's gang apparently defiled children as part of complex demonic rituals.
Toledo detectives are still investigating those awful crimes, but they're having a particularly tough time because the diocese is protecting these evil priests.
"For Toledo police, it was a rare assignment: search an abandoned house on the edge of a cornfield in western Lucas County where people reportedly took part in ritual abuse ceremonies," the Blade reported in February 2005.
"The search of the decrepit, wood structure last year was a sign the investigation of the Rev. Gerald Robinson was moving beyond a murder case. No longer was the probe focusing solely on the man accused of killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, but was expanding into a new direction: accusations that children were molested and raped by priests in ritual services."
In 2004, the Toledo Catholic Diocese paid off 19 of the 23 victims who had come forward -- a total of $1.19 million.
The diocese apparently bought the victims' silence, as well, because few details of the Satanic ceremonies have come to light.
-Damn it, and I was just about to convert, then this happens.
at May 12, 2006
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