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The Bobster
09-26-2014, 07:26 AM
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Pa-Priest-Had-Sex-With-Kids-Abroad-Police-277132581.html

Pa. Priest Had Sex With Kids Abroad: Authorities
Thursday, Sep 25, 2014 • Updated at 5:05 PM EDT

A western Pennsylvania priest has been arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on charges that he traveled to Honduras to engage in sex with children where he had been promoting missionary work with the poor.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. was arrested Thursday and will remain in custody until a hearing Monday before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh. The judge must decide then whether the priest will remain jailed until he can stand trial.

Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese announced Maurizio was placed on leave Sept. 16. That happened four days after ICE agents searched a private residence and the rectory at Our Lady Queen of Angels' rectory in Central City, Somerset County, where Maurizio had been pastor.

Maurizio's attorney, Steven Passarello, didn't immediately return a call for comment.

The Bobster
10-15-2014, 01:16 PM
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Pennsylvania-Priest-Pleads-Not-Guilty-to-Sexual-Charges-279183991.html

Pennsylvania Priest Pleads Not Guilty to Sexual Charges
Tuesday, Oct 14, 2014 • Updated at 4:29 PM EDT

A Pennsylvania priest has pleaded not guilty to charges he possessed child pornography and traveled to Honduras for sex with poor street children during missionary trips.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio entered the plea Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Pesto in Johnstown.

The 69-year-old remains jailed, though Pesto gave lawyers 10 days to return with information about the priest's finances, at which point Pesto says he may reconsider releasing the priest pending trial.

Defense attorney Steven Passarello tells the judge the priest will agree to freeze two investment accounts worth $900,000 and surrender his passport to address concerns he may flee prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines says investigators found another account from which Maurizio withdrew $127,000.

Passarello says that money will pay for the priest's defense.

The Bobster
11-14-2014, 09:07 AM
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2014/11/14/pa-priest-charged-with-visiting-honduras-to-have-sex-with-children-could-be-released-from-jail/

Pa. Priest Charged With Visiting Honduras To Have Sex With Children Could Be Released From Jail
November 14, 2014 10:53 AM

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge is reconsidering a lower magistrate’s order to release a Pennsylvania priest from jail and confine him to his home until his trial on charges that he traveled to Honduras for sex with poor street children during missionary trips.

U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson in Johnstown will hold a new detention hearing Friday for the Rev. Joseph Maurizio.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Pesto last week ruled the 69-year-old priest could be released to home detention as long as his bank accounts are frozen and he’s not able to access church-related funds. Prosecutors are concerned Maurizio could use the money to flee the country before he’s prosecuted.

Pesto ruled that Maurizio must remain jailed, however, until prosecutors appeal the release order to Gibson.

A defense attorney claims the priest has been wrongly accused.

The Bobster
04-08-2015, 09:49 AM
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/2-New-Alleged-Victims-Identified-in-Priests-Sexual-Tourism-Case-299033791.html

Indictment IDs Alleged Priest Sex Victims

A new federal indictment identifies three alleged victims in the case of a Pennsylvania priest charged with traveling to Honduras to have sex with poor street children during missionary trips.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio has been jailed since last fall when federal prosecutors in Johnstown accused him of molesting one boy, and possessing child pornography. The new indictment returned Tuesday adds two victims and charges the 69-year-old priest with sending $8,000 to a charity to help facilitate the trips which ended in 2009. None of the alleged victims are named, but all are under 18.

Maurizio's attorney, Stephen Passarello, has said he expected the new charges to be filed and that he plans to answer them with information his investigators have gleaned from trips to Honduras. But Passarello couldn't immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.

The Bobster
04-22-2015, 06:35 PM
http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2015/04/22/663773/

Priest Set For Arraignment On New Charges In Child-sex Case
April 22, 2015 9:33 AM

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A suspended Roman Catholic priest faces arraignment before a federal magistrate in western Pennsylvania on additional charges that he traveled to Honduras to have sex with poor street children during missionary trips.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. has been jailed since last fall when federal prosecutors in Johnstown accused him of molesting one boy, and possessing child pornography.

Wednesday’s court appearance in Johnstown stems from a new indictment adding two new alleged victims and charges the priest sent $8,000 to a charity to help facilitate the trips which ended in 2009.

Maurizio’s attorney, Stephen Passarello, says his investigative team in Honduras has line up witnesses to challenge the allegations, which the 69-year-old priest denies.

The defense attorney is also expected to challenge the government’s request to keep the priest in jail until he stands trial.

The Bobster
09-08-2015, 06:24 PM
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Jury-Selection-Set-For-Sex-Tourism-Case-325682781.html

Jury Selection Set For Priest In Sex Tourism Case
By Joe Mandak
Published 6 hours ago

http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/priest+booking+photo.jpg
Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr.


Jury selection is set to begin in the federal court trial of a Pennsylvania Catholic priest charged with traveling to Honduras to have sex with poor street children during missionary trips.

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. has been jailed since last fall when federal prosecutors in Johnstown accused him of molesting one boy and possessing child pornography. A new indictment in April added charges involving two other boys and that the suspended Somerset County priest illegally sent $8,000 to a charity to help facilitate the trips which ended in 2009.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Tuesday.

The 70-year-old priest has denied the allegations and has continued to be supported by some members of Our Lady Queen of Angels, where he pastored before being placed on leave after the charges.

The Bobster
12-25-2015, 03:55 PM
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Priest-Sex-Tour-Maurizio-PR-Firm-363522341.html

Priest Convicted of Sex Tour Seeks to Tell His Side of Story
Published 6 hours ago

A Roman Catholic priest convicted of traveling to Honduras to molest orphaned boys during missionary trips is seeking a public relations firm to tell his side of the story. :rolleyes:

The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. was found guilty in September of engaging or attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, as well as possessing child pornography and money laundering. He is being held in the Cambria County prison, where he has been held since his September 2014 arrest, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 2.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown suspended Maurizio after federal prosecutors filed charges.

The 70-year-old Maurizio was accused of using a self-run Johnstown-based charity called Humanitarian Interfaith Ministries to travel to an orphanage for several years ending in 2009. Prosecutors said he promised candy and cash to the boys to watch them shower, have sex or fondle them.

His attorney, Steven Passarello of Altoona, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/1OjSOoa ) on Wednesday that the former priest at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Central City is looking for a public relations firm to tell his version of events.

"He is desirous of getting his side of the story out because he has maintained his innocence throughout, notwithstanding the jury's verdict, but believes he was wrongfully convicted," Passarello said.

According to the newspaper, Passarello describes Maurizio in a five-page letter to unidentified public relations firms as "an American political prisoner" whose "civil rights as an American citizen have been violated by multiple international government agencies."

A support group for victims of clergy abuse is urging public relations firms to refuse to help.

"A convicted predator priest is apparently hiring a public relations firm in advance of his sentencing," David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest, said in a statement. "We hope his bishop prevents him from doing this or that no firm accepts his offer."

The Bobster
01-29-2016, 04:50 PM
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Judge-Delays-Priests-Sentencing-Over-Sex-Charges--366984601.html

Judge Delays Priest's Sentencing for Sex Charges
By Joe Mandak
Published 3 hours ago

http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/joseph+maurizio+8+sept+TLMD.jpg

A federal judge has delayed next week's sentencing for a priest convicted of having sex with poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

The judge will instead hold a hearing on sealed motions seeking a new trial for the Rev. Joseph Maurizio.

The 70-year-old Somerset County priest was convicted in September of sexual tourism, child pornography and money laundering charges.

Maurizio's attorney has filed several sealed motions and documents in the last month, so his specific claims are unclear. But an order from a federal judge in Johnstown delaying Tuesday's sentencing says he'll instead consider claims that prosecutors withheld evidence that may have been favorable to the priest, among other issues.

Federal prosecutors and Maurizio's attorney didn't immediately comment Friday on the turn of events."

The Bobster
02-02-2016, 03:52 PM
http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Pa-Priest-Demands-Withheld-Evidence-from-Sex-Tourism-Conviction--367359811.html

Pa. Priest Demands Withheld Evidence from Sex Tourism Conviction
Published 24 minutes ago

A federal judge will hear evidence on a convicted Pennsylvania priest's claims that federal prosecutors wrongly withheld evidence in his sexual tourism case.

The 70-year-old priest, Joseph Maurizio, was convicted in September on charges he had sex with poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.

The priest was supposed to be sentenced Tuesday, but a federal judge in Johnstown will instead hold a hearing on sealed motions seeking a new trial filed by the priest's attorney.

The priest's specific claims are unclear because the motions are sealed.

But an order from the judge says he'll consider claims that prosecutors withheld evidence that may have been favorable to the priest, among other issues.

Federal prosecutors and Maurizio's attorney haven't commented on the motions.