JOHNSTOWN - The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. was sentenced to 200 months (16.6 years) in federal prison and a $50,000 fine Wednesday for sexually assaulting two young boys in an orphanage in Honduras.
The 70-year-old priest did not speak at his sentencing in front of U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson, but numerous friends, family and parishioners did, for nearly two hours.
"I've always been proud of my brother," his sister, Angela Maurizio, of Windber, told Gibson. "I am not ashamed of saying who my brother is."
She and several others said they have seen Maurizio do good over the years, both in the military and in the priesthood.
They all told the court they believed he is innocent of he crimes he was sentenced for conducting.
"We will never give up and we hope the truth will come out and he will come home to us," she said.
Maurizio has always declared his innocence.
Maurizio was placed on leave from Our Lady Queen of Angels Parish in Central City in September 2014 after federal agents raided his rectory and Windber farm, carting off computers and other electronic equipment.
A jury found Maurizio guilty Sept. 22 of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places by assaulting two Honduran youths, one being Erick, during missionary work from 1999 to 2009. He was also found guilty of possession of child pornography and money laundering.
More details on his sentencing will be published later today.