Ex-Priest Sentenced for Child Pornography

By Danielle Camilli
Bucks County Courier Times
June 18, 2009 ex-priest-sentenced-for-child-pornography.html

Joseph Macanga served as a priest and teacher at the Church of St. Andrew in Newtown and Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia.

TRENTON - A former priest and teacher was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison Wednesday for possessing child pornography, Acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra said.

Joseph E. Macanga, 55, of Lumberton, was also ordered to serve five years of supervised release upon the completion of his prison term. U.S. District Judge Mary L. Cooper allowed Macanga to remain free on a $100,000 bond, pending his surrender to U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials on a date to be determined by prison authorities.

Macanga served as a priest and teacher at the Church of St. Andrew in Newtown and Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia among others in Pennsylvania and New Jersey including Lumberton Middle School.

In November, Macanga, a former sixth-grade teacher, pleaded guilty to a one-count federal indictment that charged him with possession of child pornography. He admitted that between October 2006 and Oct. 11, 2007, he possessed images of child pornography he had downloaded from the Internet onto his computer.

FBI special agents arrested him in April 2008 on a complaint that alleged he had used nearly 30 Internet chat rooms to share images of child pornography.

Federal court papers, unsealed after his arrest, indicated an FBI investigation uncovered that Macanga had more than 300 images of child pornography on his computer as well as evidence he had distributed images in online chat rooms frequented by pedophiles.

Macanga's arrest shocked Lumberton school officials, who described him as a respected language arts teacher who had worked at the middle school for 10 years. He was selected the school's educator of the year in 2003 and coached intramural girls soccer and basketball.

After Macanga's arrest, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia confirmed that he was a former Roman Catholic priest who had taught in schools in Pennsylvania.

Macanga was ordained in May 1986. During his tenure, he served as a priest and teacher at Saint Hilary of Poitiers in Rydal, St. Cecilia's in Coatesville, St. Alice in Upper Darby, and SS. Simon and Jude in West Chester.


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