PA priest waives hearing on child porn charges

church

EMMAUS, Pa. (AP) – A Roman Catholic priest in Pennsylvania has waived a preliminary hearing on child pornography charges.

His attorney says Monsignor John Stephen Mraz, of Bethlehem, gave up his right to a preliminary hearing because he committed the crime.

Attorney John Waldron tells The Allentown Morning Call that 66-year-old Mraz downloaded and he viewed pornographic computer files as alleged.

He says “the important thing” is he never tried to contact children.

Waldron says he expects the case to be resolved in a guilty plea and not go to trial.

Prosecutors say a friend of the priest’s discovered a file labeled with a reference to nude boys while working on Mraz’s computer. The friend then contacted the Diocese of Allentown, which notified authorities.

Mraz was the pastor of the Church of St. Ann in Emmaus. He has been removed from the ministry.

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