Maurizio to request new trial at hearing

Altoona Mirror

January 29, 2016

By Phil Ray ( , The Altoona Mirror

U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson in Johnstown on Thursday ordered a second hearing on a request for a new trial for the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio, the Somerset County priest convicted last September of sexually abusing two Honduran children during his annual visits to the country.

Maurizio was expected to be sentenced Tuesday on charges of sexual abuse, possession of child pornography and money laundering.

Gibson put the sentencing on hold and stated in his order that he will instead hear another request by Altoona attorneys Steven P. Passarello and Daniel Kiss for a new trial based on recently discovered evidence that the prosecution violated federal rules that require it to reveal evidence to the defense that could show the defendant to be innocent.

Passarello, when contacted Thursday afternoon, said he couldn’t talk about the newly discovered evidence but confirmed that a new hearing will be held. Gibson, in early December, dismissed the defense request for a new trial, although he did toss out one of the five guilty verdicts against Maurizio.

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