PA--Victims applaud judge in predator priest appeal
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 8, 2016
We’re grateful that a Pennsylvania judge has denied a new trial for a predator priest. We’re disappointed but not surprised that the child molesting cleric says he’ll appeal. And we hope that all Catholic officials in Pennsylvania and Honduras will use their vast resources to find and help others who were assaulted by this priest or who helped conceal his crimes.
Like nearly all child molesters, Fr. Joseph Maurizio claims he wasn’t given a fair trial. We’re relieved that U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson rejected this claim. And we hope that Maurizio gets the longest possible sentence so kids will be safer for the longest possible time.
Maurizio’s sentencing will be appropriate only if the justice system is fully aware of his crimes. So it’s crucial that Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak aggressively seek out other victims, witnesses and whistleblowers and urge them to call law enforcement immediately.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
No New Trial for Priest Convicted of Sex Tourism With Boys
By JOE MANDAK, ASSOCIATED PRESS PITTSBURGH — Feb 8, 2016, 5:06 PM ET
A priest who was convicted of sexually assaulting poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras and said federal prosecutors wrongly withheld evidence in his case won't get a new trial, a judge ruled.
The priest, 70-year-old Joseph Maurizio, was convicted in the sexual tourism case in September.
U.S. District Judge Kim Gibson rejected his appeal, clearing the way for him to be sentenced on March 2, barring further appeals. The Johnstown judge found that an accuser's statement was wrongly withheld but wouldn't have changed the outcome of the priest's trial.
"Given the substantial evidence that exists in this case ... the court finds . . . "
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.