Emmaus Church Leader to Stand Trial in Child Porn Case

November 3, 2016

A monsignor with the Diocese of Allentown will stand trial in a child pornography case.

John Mraz, 66, waived his preliminary hearing Thursday morning.

In September, Mraz was charged with sexual abuse of children, criminal use of a communications facility and obscene and sexual material and performances.

Mraz was the pastor at St. Ann's Church in Emmaus, Lehigh County.

On July 25, Mraz asked a friend and parishioner to update his laptop computer. The friend subsequently discovered files in the computer's recycling bin depicting images of nude males of an unknown age, according to court documents.

After completing the update, the friend returned the computer to Mraz, who asked him to update another laptop. On that laptop, the friend reported finding a file named "naked little boys," or "something similar to that name," according to court paperwork.

The friend returned the laptop to Mraz and then notified the Diocese of Allentown of the discovery. The diocese then contacted the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office, according to court documents.

On August 18, a search warrant was executed at Mraz's home in the 400 block of South Sixth Street in Emmaus, where authorities seized the laptops. Upon analysis, authorities said the devices were used to search for images and videos of boys engaged in sex acts, and numerous image files of child pornography were also found on the devices.

The Diocese of Allentown said Mraz was removed from the public ministry and cannot present himself as a priest.

In addition to serving as St. Ann's pastor, Mraz once taught at Catholic high schools in Allentown and Reading.








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