Seminary student with local ties arrested on serious charges


STEUBENVILLE, Ohio — A seminary student with ties to Steubenville has been arrested on two felony counts, including traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

Joel Wright, a first year pre-theology student at the Pontifical College of Columbus, was arrested Saturday on suspicion that he planned to adopt a three-year-old female child in Mexico for the purpose of raping her.

Wright was discerning ordination to the priesthood for the Diocese of Steubenville.

Immediately upon learning of the allegations against Wright, Diocese Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton suspended him from the studies.

According to Pat DeFrancis, of the Steubenville Diocese, Wright attended Franciscan University before moving on to his studies in Columbus.

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