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Paedo sexually abused children as young as 4-months-old

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, MI -- A 27-year-old man faces multiple charges after authorities claim he sexually abused young children and made por...

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mercoledì 26 luglio 2017

Paedo priest sentenced for sexual abuse of children, child porn

The conviction and 200-month prison sentence of a Somerset County priest for the sexual abuse of several children who were living at an orphanage in El Progresso, Honduras, was upheld Monday by a federal appeals court.

U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson 16 months ago sentenced the priest, Joseph D. Maurizio, now 71, of Central City, for the sexual abuse of two children, possession of child pornography consisting of nude photographs of several other children, and the use of charitable funds collected in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown to promote illicit sexual contact with a minor.

Altoona attorney Steven P. Passarello represented Maurizio during the lengthy September 2015 trial.

The jury convicted Maurizio on five counts but acquitted him on three other charges.

After the verdict was returned, Passarello joined with two other attorneys, Thomas J. Farrell and Devin M. Misour of Pittsburgh, for an appeal to the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

The defense team questioned the sufficiency of the evidence, maintained there was government misconduct and that Gibson improperly instructed the jury concerning the charges or attempts by Maurizio to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign place.

Federal panel upholds Maurizio conviction Jul 25, 2017 Phil Ray

According to the evidence introduced at trial, in 2001 Maurizio created a charitable organization, then known as Honduras Interfaith Ministries (HIM), which was funded by donations from community members, including parishioners of Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Central City. HIM became the largest donor for Pro Niño, a non-profit organization that provided shelter and rehabilitative services to poor, abandoned and at-risk children residing in a rural town near San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Between 2004 and 2009, Maurizio used HIM moneys to fund 13 separate trips between the United States and Honduras, during which he sexually abused two minor boys living at Pro Niño shelters.
Evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Maurizio used his position with HIM, Pro Niño's largest donor, to gain unfettered access to the minors, as well as to purchase them gifts, including clothes, shoes and jewelry, in order to build the boys' trust and to ensure their compliance during his sexual abuse. During his final trip to Honduras, Maurizio paid two minor boys to engage in sexual acts with him.
In addition, trial evidence showed that Maurizio kept digital media depicting the minors he sexually abused and other images of child sexual exploitation in the Our Lady Queen of Angels Church rectory.
HSI and Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation in Pittsburgh investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Haines of the Western District of Pennsylvania and Trial Attorney Amy E. Larson of the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) prosecuted the case.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 14,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2015, nearly 2,400 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.


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