Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr. Seeks Positive Publicity Before February Sentencing
Everything-PR has exclusively learned that Father Joseph D. Maurizio, a priest in Federal Prison for child sexual abuse charges has contacted a number of public relations firms seeking an agency willing to work the media to assist him in getting out of jail, or receiving a lenient sentence.
The Pennsylvania-based 70 year old was found guilty of “having sex with three boys at a Honduran orphanage that he supported through his nonprofit foundation, transferring money outside the United States to fund his illicit activities and having pornographic photos of children.”
Earlier this month, The Associated Press reported that a Federal judge tossed out one of the five convictions against the Priest – yet denied his request for a new trial. The timing of contacting Public Relations firms indicates that he seeks a PR agency previously to being sentenced on February 2, 2016.
A note which was sent out to agencies – on the letterhead of attorney Steven Passarello – claims that “Father Maurizio considers himself an American Political Prisoner and firmly asserts that his Civil Rights as an American Citizen have been violated by multiple international Government agencies.”
What one would call a child molester is being called a “political prisoner” by some.
Before we discuss the claims in Maurizio’s letter, we cite The New York Times:
“Details of child sexual abuse that led to charges against a Roman Catholic priest on Thursday were reported to his Pennsylvania diocese nearly five years ago, court records show, but the church authorities did not remove him as a pastor.”
“The priest, the Rev. Joseph D. Maurizio Jr., was charged in federal court in Johnstown, Pa., with possessing child pornography and engaging in illicit sexual conduct on trips he made to a boys’ orphanage in Central America.”
“Father Maurizio, 69, made annual visits to Honduras, Nicaragua and other Central American countries to help homeless children, according to newsletters of a charity he ran. Investigators said he also had another purpose: sexual tourism. Young men and boys interviewed in El Progreso, Honduras, by an agent of the Department of Homeland Security this year told of a decade-long pattern of abuse by Father Maurizio, according to the criminal complaint. One male witness said the priest tried to photograph him naked in a bath and later offered him money to masturbate. Another witness said the priest pulled down his pants in a chapel when he was 14, and the two had sex after which the priest gave him chocolates. A third witness described seeing Father Maurizio grope an underage boy in a pickup truck.”
The note from his attorney claims that Father Joseph Maurizio, “withdrew as a large donor to ProNifio Honduras”, and “the FBI began an investigation in 2009 against him. The case was closed and no charges were filed.”
Maurizio implies there was a witch-hunt against him, blaming a website, and a “rival.”
We will not cite the lengthy details described in the nearly 5 page letter, but the note ends that “…a jury convicted Father Joseph Maurizio, Jr. on 5 of the 8 counts he was charged with; however, one count (Count 4 (Ludin)) would later be overturned by the Federal Judge, leaving Father Joe “guilty” of four (4) of the eight (8) counts brought to trial. Even with the win on the Judgment of Acquittal as to Count 4, the Defense’s Motion for New Trial has been denied and a subsequent appeal must follow. There are many other issues in this matter, but one would have to review the transcripts of the 10 day trial, as there are simply too many to list same.”
The note further claims that “Father Maurizio seeks help in getting his story out to the public.” Will any Public Relations company work for a convicted child molester? He certainly hopes to use the media to influence the court system.