Catholic Seminarian Arrested for Seeking Sexual Relations With Infants, Toddlers

Wright-compressedSAN DIEGO, Calif. — A former priest-in-training has been arrested for allegedly seeking to have sexual relations with infants and toddlers in Mexico following an undercover investigation.

Joel Wright, 23, of Columbus, Ohio was arrested on Saturday and is expected to be arraigned in federal court today. He has been charged with traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

According to a complaint from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California, Wright was the subject of an undercover investigation that began in November. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) had received a tip from a person in Mexico relating to an advertisement on Craigslist surrounding the adoption of infants.

Wright had initially stated that he was seeking to meet a woman to marry and adopt a child, but the conversation shifted to his desire to engage in sexual conduct with children.

An undercover agent posing as a Mexican tour guide conversed with Wright via email after the tip was reported, and was allegedly told by Wright that he wanted to adopt a child under three years old and have sexual relations with the toddler or infant, but requested that the information not be disclosed.

When asked if he had engaged in such conduct before, he replied, “I have not gone all the way before, but I have made it very close in the past, so I do have experience.” Other discussions between the two were too graphic to be posted.

Wright soon booked a flight to San Diego where he planned to meet with the friend of a tour guide, which was to take him into Mexico to meet female infants at a Tijuana hotel. He had asked that he be referred to as “Francis” and not his real name. When Wright’s plane landed at San Diego’s Lindberg Field, he was arrested by HSI agents.

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“This investigation opens a window into a secret world were sexual predators prey on young children around the globe,” said Dave Shaw, special agent in charge for HSI San Diego, said in a statement. “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live.”

“Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim,” he stated.

Wright was a student at at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, which he began attending last fall after undergoing a series of psychological tests and interviews, as well as a background check. According to the Associated Press, he lost his status at the Catholic seminary for leaving campus without first obtaining authorization.

“We’re shocked and saddened by the heinous nature of the allegations,” said John Allen, vice president for advancement at Pontifical College Josephinum.

According to the institution’s website, the school “was established more than 125 years ago to help prepare men for the priesthood.”

HSI says that it has arrested more than 12,000 people for sexually related crimes involving minors since its inception in 2003.


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  • BobRumba

    This should bring out the anti-Catholic posters in droves.

    • Angel Jabbins

      Guess you were wrong about that. This story just illustrates yet again the horrible fallenness of mankind…how evil the human heart really is to even imagine such evil. And… it illustrates why we need a Savior.

      • BobRumba

        I wasn’t wrong. It’s early yet. FoJC hasn’t been here yet.

        • The Last Trump

          Hi Val.
          😉

          • gizmo23

            Would you be up for a law that said everyone must use their real name on internet boards? I think it would make these things much more civil and productive

          • BobRumba

            So would I, and it would make all the stupid accusations go away for good.

          • The Last Trump

            Absolutely!
            And a single user account would be nice too!

    • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

      In this case the Catholic seminary appears to have done a great job: they cut ties with the evil before he had a chance to take root.

      • Oboehner

        Probably to just be relocated.

    • Oboehner

      If one is actually a Christian, they are naturally “anti-catholic”.

      • BobRumba

        Oh, anti-Catholic “Christian” bigotry is so hilarious…

        • Oboehner

          Bigotry, that’s hilarious. you pagan mary worshipers crack me up.

          • BobRumba

            Not Catholic, I just know how to read a history book. Thanks for playing.

          • Oboehner

            Try a non-Catholic history book, then try the scriptures.

          • BobRumba

            By a “non-Catholic history book,” don’t you mean, ALL of them?

            You’re a pip. You reject not just the things we know, but the things we knew centuries ago, too. Here’s a tip for you – the world isn’t flat and is a little older than 6000 years.

          • Oboehner

            You are right about the flat thing, dead wrong on the old bit. You also failed to address the scriptures.

          • BobRumba

            I don’t address them because they were written by human beings and have nothing to do with God. Also, fossils.

          • Oboehner

            Fossils – dead things. Very nice, but what does that have to do with anything?

          • BobRumba

            Plenty, but you have to understand and believe in things the rest of the world believes in like radiometric dating. You’d far rather bury your head in the sand.

          • Oboehner

            “believe in things the rest of the world believes in” Sounds like popular religion to me.
            Remove all of the assumptions out of radiometric dating, and you’ve got nothing.

  • The Last Trump

    Big thank you to the police forces involved in protecting the lives of the young, the vulnerable and the defenseless who simply cannot protect themselves from the monsters in this world.
    Just as the pro lifers do everyday.

  • gizmo23

    I believe many people go into the preisthood or ministry because they think it will “cure” them. It many cases it does not.

    • mj58

      I think they go in to have easy access to children, not to be cure.

    • http://verbus.dreamhosters.com OneBreadOneBody

      Sadly, many closeted homosexuals have gone into the priesthood as a convenient cover. This led to a gay subculture that for a time dominated the seminaries. It still exists, though to a lesser extent due to the pedophilia scandals. But it should not be surprising that pedophiles are found there. Pedophiles are attracted to many areas where unsupervised contact with children is tolerated, such as in athletic programs and scouting. Ministers and priests are fallen just as we all are. It’s not an excuse for sin, but we should be willing to accept genuine contrition.

      • gizmo23

        I agree but they still need to be accountable to man”s law

        • http://verbus.dreamhosters.com OneBreadOneBody

          No argument there.

  • http://verbus.dreamhosters.com OneBreadOneBody

    Once again we are reminded that all men are fallen. It’s not just a Catholic thing.

    The Christian mission field is a “magnet” for sexual abusers, Boz
    Tchividjian, a Liberty University law professor who investigates abuse
    said Thursday (Sept. 26) to a room of journalists.

    While comparing evangelicals to Catholics on abuse response, ”I think
    we are worse,” he said at the Religion Newswriters Association
    conference, saying too many evangelicals had “sacrificed the souls” of
    young victims.

    “Protestants can be very arrogant when pointing to Catholics,” said
    Tchividjian, a grandson of evangelist Billy Graham and executive
    director of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment
    (GRACE), which has investigated sex abuse allegations.

    • Oboehner

      One main difference is the propensity of the RCC to cover it up and simply relocate the offender. In a small town near me a priest who retired under allegations of sexual misconduct was given full church burial honors when he died – nothing else was ever done despite the damage he caused.

  • Liz Litts

    We need to remember that this is a very sick INDIVIDUAL– and does not represent the church as a whole.

  • FoJC_Forever

    The snake in the bush strikes again.

    Follow Jesus, find Wisdom.

  • FoJC_Forever

    Catholicism is paganism masquerading as Christianity, and always has been. Like all paganism and unbelief, it produces evil. Those who like to divide people into groups want to call those who have rejected the Lie of catholicism as being “evangelicals”. They are sensual, not spiritual. The judge according to their carnal nature, rather than hearing the LORD and accepting Truth.

    Don’t reject catholicism because of the sexually perverted things some of them do, reject it because it is false doctrine perpetrated by the Devil to deceive people into believing they are followers of Jesus (the) Christ, those who know God and are in Covenant with Him.

    The Wicked like attention, even when it’s bad. They use this to gather supporters and continue their quest to deceive and lead people away from the LORD.

    Follow Jesus, find Wisdom.