A former Columbus, Ohio seminary student is at the center of controversy due to a number of disturbing child sex allegations. According to New York Daily News, Joel A. Wright, 23, has been accused of travelling to San Diego, CA for the purpose of partaking in arranged sexual encounters with multiple infants. He’d planned to board a flight from San Diego to Tijuana but he was arrested when he landed in San Diego.
It has been reported that an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) uncovered incriminating evidence linking Wright to the crime.
Wright, who was a freshman pre-theology student at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio, was studying to become a priest. Homeland Security Investigations received a tip about Wright following an alleged deal he’d made with a tipster in hopes of adopting a baby. Back in 2014, Wright met the tipster in Tijuana to pay an adoption fee for a baby.
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According to the investigative report, Wright paid the fee but the tipster never returned to close the deal. But, that incident didn’t deter Wright from working harder to bring his desires to fruition. In July of 2015, he reportedly began searching on Craigslist for a Tijuana tour guide. Initially, the conversations were seemingly innocuous as Wright did express desires about traveling. But, by November, the conversations gradually took a turn for the worse. Wright slowly began “expressing his desire to have sex with an infant,” according to WCMH-TV.
Investigators continued having conversations with Wright in an effort to lure him to Tijuana, but a day before he was scheduled to leave, he cancelled the trip. Then, in December, he posted a third ad with similar requests. While conversing with undercover investigators via email, Wright is said to have admitted that he was looking for a baby to have sexual intercourse with.
He even went a step further by detailing his desires, stating that he planned to travel to Tijuana in hopes of finding a baby under the age of three for that particular purpose. According to the report released by New York Daily News, Wright also stated that he planned to film the horrific encounter. The plan was for Wright to travel to Tijuana to meet the tour guide at a hotel where he’d get to see female infants. When he arrived at Lindberg Field in San Diego, CA on Friday, Jan. 29, he was arrested by HSI special agents.
Aspiring Priest Caught Trying to Have Sex With Babies in Mexico: 23 year old Joel A. Wright was arrested by fe… https://t.co/DEoGoYjhwo
— Lakia Plemons (@LakiaPlemons) January 31, 2016
Dave Shaw, a special agent in charge with Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego has released a statement about the investigation and how it sheds light on the grim underground world of sexual predators. Unfortunately, there are many others just like Wright who have not been caught. These type of people who prey on children reportedly believe they have a better chance of getting away with child sex crimes when they target young victims outside of the United States. However, Homeland Security Investigations is in place to make sure these predators do not succeed.
“This investigation opens a window into a secret world where sexual predators prey on young children around the globe,” said Shaw. “Pedophiles who mistakenly believe they can escape justice by committing child sex crimes outside the U.S. should be on notice that HSI will seek to vindicate the rights of those victims regardless where they live. Fortunately, in this instance, our perseverance and diligence prevented the sexual exploitation of yet another innocent victim.”
Joel A. Wright is now facing two federal sex charges. He has also been expelled from the seminary school.
[Image via YouTube Screen Capture]