Immigration agents arrest western Pennsylvania priest on sexual tourism, child porn charges

A western Pennsylvania priest accused of traveling to Honduras to engage in sex with children while promoting missionary work with the poor there has been arrested by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials.

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.

Altoona-Johnstown diocese Bishop Mark Bartchak says 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 also faces a child porn charge. His attorney, Steven Passarello, hasn't returned a call seeking comment.