JOHNSTOWN, Pennsylvania — A suspended Pennsylvania priest has been sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison for sexually assaulting poor street children during missionary trips to Honduras.
Federal prosecutors in Johnstown sought up to 30 years in prison for 71-year-old Joseph Maurizio Jr.
But a federal judge agreed to less time due to Maurizio’s age, charitable works and other legal factors.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown suspended Maurizio after federal prosecutors filed charges in September 2014.
Prosecutors contend Maurizio used a self-run Johnstown-based charity to travel to an orphanage for several years ending in 2009. He was convicted of promising candy and cash to two boys to watch them shower, perform sex acts or fondle them.
The defense says Maurizio maintains his innocence and plans to appeal.