Lehigh Valley

Former Emmaus priest pleads guilty in child porn case

John Mraz had child porn on his laptop

John Mraz pleads guilty

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A former monsignor in the Allentown diocese pleaded guilty Thursday to possessing child pornography.

John Mraz pleaded guilty before Judge Maria Dantos to charges of child pornography, criminal use of a communication device and possession of obscene and other sexual materials. The sentencing range calls for a prison term of 6 months to 7 years in prison on each count.

The plea deal calls for sentences to be served concurrently. The 67-year-old will be sentenced at a later date. He remains free until his sentencing on $50,000 unsecured bail.

Mraz was the pastor at St. Ann's Church in Emmaus at the time of his arrest. Authorities charged him last September after a friend and parishioner updated his laptop and discovered files in the computer's recycling bin depicting pictures of nude boys of an unknown age, according to court records.

Mraz had asked the friend to update his computer.

After completing the update, the friend returned the computer to Mraz, who asked him to update another laptop. On that laptop, authorities said the friend reported finding a file named "naked little boys."

The friend returned the computers to Mraz and then notified the diocese, which then contacted the Lehigh County District Attoney's Office.

In August, authorities searched Mraz's home in the 400 block of South Sixth Street in Emmaus, where authorities seized the laptops. Investigators said the laptops were used to search for pictures and videos of boys engaged in sex acts.

Authorities said numerous files of child pornography were also found on the devices.

Diocese officials said at the time that Mraz was removed from the public ministry.

In addition to serving as St. Ann's pastor, Mraz once taught at Catholic high schools in Allentown and Reading.


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