Former Parish Priest Goes on Trial for Sexual Misconduct

October 12, 2006

Phoenix It's taken a decade for prosecutors to bring a former Catholic parish priest to justice.

Yesterday, Joseph Briceno's trial began in Maricopa County Superior Court on six counts of sexual conduct with a minor, one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor and one count of sexual abuse.

Prosecutors say the charges stem from Briceno's ongoing relationship with a teenager from St. Mary's Catholic Church in Chandler.

The incidents that led to the charges took place in 1982 and 1983.

Briceno is accused of being a predatory priest who groomed a young man with family problems, taking him on bike rides and inviting him to share his bed in the rectory of a Chandler parish.

The defense says the case is not about anything but the almighty dollar, and that's what the evidence will show.


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