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Priest's conviction in sex abuse of Honduran orphans upheld

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The conviction of a Pennsylvania priest accused of sexually abusing orphans during missionary trips to Honduras has been upheld by a federal appeals court.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday also denied Joseph Maurizio's request for a new trial. The suspended priest has maintained his innocence.

The 71-year-old Maurizio was convicted last year of sexually abusing two street children and using diocesan funds to facilitate abuse. He was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison and ordered to pay $70,000 in fines and restitution. His lawyers say he has made the payment.

U.S. Bureau of Prison records show Maurizio is incarcerated at a low-security federal prison in Ohio with a projected release date of April 2029.

His attorney and the prosecution declined to comment on the ruling.

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