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Published: Sunday, 10/18/2009

Imprisoned priest breaks his silence: 'I didn't do this'

BY MIKE WAGNER
COLUMBUS DISPATCH
The Rev. Gerald Robinson was convicted of killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, in 1980 by strangling her and then stabbing her 31 times. His conviction came on May 11, 2006 — 26 years after the killing. The Roman Catholic priest is serving 15 years to life in the Hocking Correctional Facility. The Rev. Gerald Robinson was convicted of killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl, in 1980 by strangling her and then stabbing her 31 times. His conviction came on May 11, 2006 — 26 years after the killing. The Roman Catholic priest is serving 15 years to life in the Hocking Correctional Facility.
SHARI LEWIS Enlarge

NELSONVILLE, Ohio — Convicts sit on a footlocker in the prison dormitory whispering details of their darkest sins to the Rev. Gerald Robinson.

To the inmates locked inside the Hocking Correctional Facility, meetings at the blue box with the diminutive priest are like confessions. Except that this Roman Catholic clergyman wears a faded blue prison uniform, not the white collar he donned for more than 40 years.

Some inmates seek out the man they call “Father” for prayer, even salvation. Others just want to chat with Gerry, their fellow inmate who sleeps on a bottom bunk and helps clean up after chow time.

“They know what I am,” Robinson said. “They know why I am here. My case is no secret. It never was.”

Robinson has never spoken publicly about the day Sister Margaret Ann Pahl was killed in the chapel of Toledo's Mercy Hospital.

Even during his trial for the slaying — believed by church historians to be the first U.S. case of a priest being convicted of killing a nun — he didn't speak.

To read more go to The Columbus Dispatch at:: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/multimedia/robinson/index.html



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