Lehigh Valley Priest Downloaded Child Porn but Didn't Contact Kids: Lawyer
By Dan Stamm
November 3, 2016
|Monsignor John Mraz (inset) faces child porn charges in the Lehigh Valley.|
A lawyer for a Roman Catholic priest in the Lehigh Valley says his client downloaded and viewed child porn but he says "the important thing" is the priest never tried to contact any children.
Attorney John Waldron says Monsignor John Stephen Mraz, of Bethlehem, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on child pornography charges because he committed the crime.
Waldron tells The Allentown Morning Call he expects the 66-year-old priest will plead guilty and the case won't go to trial.
Prosecutors said a friend of the priest's discovered a file labeled with a reference to nude boys while working on Mraz's computer. Some of the terms Mraz searched for online included "nude boys wrestling," "teen boys spanked," "small boy nudes," "handcuffed nude boys," "boy bondage" and other terms involving boys and sexual acts, said police.
The friend contacted the Diocese of Allentown, which notified authorities.
Investigators determined Mraz downloaded the photos "for his own sexual gratification," said the DA’s office.
Mraz was pastor of the Church of St. Ann in Emmaus. He has been removed from the ministry.