Closing arguments slated in priest’s sexual tourism trial

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) – Closing arguments are scheduled Monday in the trial of a western Pennsylvania priest charged with traveling to Honduras to molest poor street children during missionary trips.

Defense attorneys rested their case in Cambria County Court on Friday afternoon without calling the Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. of Windber to the stand.

The 70-year-old defendant has been suspended from Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish in Somerset County.

He’s accused of traveling abroad from 2004 to 2009 to have illegal sex with three young boys – a charge known as sexual tourism – and illegally transferring $8,000 to a charity to help fund the trips.

A defense expert witness on Friday raised questions about investigators’ treatment of alleged abuse victims, suggesting that interviewers can implant ideas that lead to false accusations.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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