Judge Tosses One Maurizio Verdict
By Phil Ray
December 3, 2015
The federal judge who presided over the child sexual abuse trial of a Somerset County priest has rejected a defense request for a new trial but has tossed out one of five guilty verdicts returned by the jury on Sept. 22.
Altoona attorney Steven P. Passarello, who represented the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr., said U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson's decision to reverse the jury's verdict on one of the charges of illicit sexual abuse against a child was a "major victory" for the defense.
"Very rarely... rarely, does a judge grant a motion of acquittal," Passarello said.
Sentencing for the 70-year-old former pastor of Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Central City is scheduled for Feb. 2.
Passarello said he doesn't know what the four remaining charges will mean in terms of time behind bars. He will know more when a presentence report is completed.