A deranged Catholic priest-in-training gets 15 years for arranging to rape infants.
Former seminary student Joel Wright was sentenced Friday to 15 years and 8 months in federal prison for trying to buy or adopt female infants and toddlers in Tijuana so he could sexually molest them.
According to reports, Wright, a 23-year-old priest-in-training at Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, made plans to travel to Mexico to have sex with at least three different young girls under the age of four.
A statement released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office indicates that Wright admitted in a plea agreement that he wrote “numerous sexually explicit emails in which he describes to a cooperating witness and an undercover federal agent how he intended to sexually assault various children in Mexico, from infants up to 4 years old.”
The arrest and conviction of Wright followed a months-long undercover child sexual exploitation investigation conducted by special agents in San Diego. Federal authorities were tipped off about Wright in November 2015 from a Tijuana, Mexico, resident who had responded to an advertisement on Craigslist soliciting the adoption of infants.
Undercover agents took over the informant’s email account in December 2015 with his consent and began communicating with Wright. During the email exchanges, Wright said he wanted to adopt or purchase a baby girl under the age of 3, have sex with the child, and film it.
When asked by the undercover agents via email if he had sexual experience with infants, Wright wrote:
I have not gone all the way before but I have made it very close in the past so I do have experience.
Virgin babies are the best.
Documents state Wright planned on giving the children Tylenol and candy “to relax them” before he raped them.
Before being arrested, Wright was studying to become a Roman Catholic priest at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.
Wright had faced a maximum sentence of life in prison; however, after entering a guilty plea, he received a sentence of 15 years, eight months.
Joel Wright (Image via U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)