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Ex-seminary student in child sex arrest

Former seminarian Joel Wright
Staff Reporter

A FORMER US seminary student arrested for allegedly seeking sex with infants and young girls was carrying baby clothes and a bottle in his luggage, authorities have said.

Joel Wright (23) who was arrested after he got off a plane in California had previously travelled to Mexico, in an unsuccessful attempt to adopt a child, the US Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

According to the criminal complaint, Wright, who was expelled from Catholic Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, tried in 2014 to adopt a child in Mexico and more recently spelled out in explicit online messages what he hoped to do with an infant and a four-year-old girl.

Asked in an email if he had previously had sex with infants, Wright allegedly responded: "I have not gone all the way before but I have made it very close in the past so I do have experance (sic)."

His mother, Teresa Wright Poquette, who lives in Vermont where Wright grew up, said she did not believe the allegations.

The Rev John Allen, vice president for advancement at Pontifical College Josephinum, said Wright began attending the seminary last autumn.

Wright lost his status at the seminary when he left the campus without authorisation.

A statement from the seminary read: "The Pontifical College Josephinum was shocked and saddened to learn of the alleged criminal actions and alleged criminal intentions of former student Joel Wright. Such actions are both heinous and reprehensible".

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