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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 9, 2015

Pennsylvania Priest Indicted For Traveling To Honduras And Sexually Abusing Minor Boys

WASHINGTON- On April 7, 2015, Joseph D. Maurizio, Jr., a resident of Central City, Pennsylvania, was indicted in a superseding indictment by a federal grand jury in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on charges of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places and on international money laundering offenses, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department's Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton announced today. The investigation was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) Criminal Investigation, Pittsburgh

Joseph D. Maurizio, Jr., 69, a priest of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, was originally indicted on October 7, 2014 on charges relating to his 2009 travel to Honduras and illicit sexual conduct with a minor boy. Maurizio was also charged with the possession of child pornography.

According to the superseding indictment, Maurizio made yearly trips to Honduras between 2004 and 2009, and engaged in the sexual exploitation of two additional minor boys. Prior to three of his trips to Honduras, Maurizio transferred funds totaling $8,000 from accounts located in the Western District of Pennsylvania to accounts and individuals located in Honduras, with the intent to promote the carrying on of his illicit sexual conduct with minor victims who were living at an organization that provided services to orphaned and abandoned children.

The case is being prosecuted by Criminal Division Trial Attorney Amy E. Larson of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines of the US Attorney's Office in the Western District of Pennsylvania

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys' offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Updated July 14, 2015