Priest-In-Training Arrested While Traveling To Mexico To Adopt Baby For Sex

Priest Training Arrested Mexico Infant Sex
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Authorities in San Diego arrested 23-year-old priest-in-training on Friday on allegations that the man planned a trip to Mexico to adopt a baby for sex. He reportedly planned to travel to Tijuana, Mexico, but authorities apprehended him at the airport after he deplaned in San Diego.

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Joel A. Wright, a student at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, has been charged with two felony counts for crossing state lines with the intention to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to travel "in interstate and foreign commerce" for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with another person.

The New York Daily News reports that authorities have been investigating Wright since July 2014, when he attempted to pay someone to adopt a child from Mexico for him. Last November, an undercover FBI agent posed as a tour guide in Mexico and began talking to the priest-in-training online. During these chats, Wright revealed to the undercover agent that he wanted to adopt or own a child under three years of age and have sex with the child.

"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 of where they live," said Dave Shaw, special agent in charge of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego.

According to a statement from Pontifical College Josephinum, Wright studied at the school for one semester, but they terminated his status the moment he left the seminary without authorization. "Immediately upon learning of the allegations against Wright, Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton suspended Wright from studies," the statement read.

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