A western Pennsylvania priest has been arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on charges that he traveled to Honduras to engage in sex with children where he had been promoting missionary work with the poor.
The Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr. was arrested Thursday and will remain in custody until a hearing Monday before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh. The judge must decide then whether the priest will remain jailed until he can stand trial.
Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown diocese announced Maurizio was placed on leave Sept. 16. That happened four days after ICE agents searched a private residence and the rectory at Our Lady Queen of Angels' rectory in Central City, Somerset County, where Maurizio had been pastor.
Maurizio's attorney, Steven Passarello, didn't immediately return a call for comment.