Pennsylvania priest’s attorney wants new sex tourism trial
October 5, 2015
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The attorney for a Roman Catholic priest wants a federal judge to grant a new trial on charges the cleric traveled to Honduras to molest poor street children during missionary trips.
The 70-year-old priest, the Rev. Joseph Maurizio was convicted of charges that he had sex with two of three alleged victims identified by federal prosecutors in Johnstown. The third boy recanted his claims that he was molested.
The priest’s attorney, Steven Passarello, says the boys’ testimony contradicted one another with regard to dates and the priest’s alleged behavior, and that prosecutors prejudiced the jury by noting the defense did not cross-examine the one alleged victim who changed his story.
The priest, who has been suspended from Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish in Somerset County, faces sentencing in February.