Pennsylvania priest convicted in federal sexual tourism case

Joseph Maurizio. Copyright, The Associated Press.
FILE - Rev. Joseph Maurizio is led into Federal Court for jury selection in Johnstown, Pa., Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, by U.S. Marshals. (Todd Berkey/via Tribune-Democrat via AP)

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) – A Roman Catholic priest accused of traveling from Pennsylvania to Honduras to molest street children during missionary trips has been convicted of several charges.

A federal jury in Johnstown convicted the Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. on Tuesday of charges including three of four counts related to sex abuse of boys during trips to a Honduran orphanage.

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

He was accused of traveling abroad from 2004 to 2009 to have sex with three young boys, a charge known as sexual tourism. He also was convicted of child pornography and illegally transferring money to help fund the trips.

The priest repeatedly denied the allegations. His defense attorney presented testimony suggesting interviewers can plant 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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