July 19, 2005

Ex-Valley priest arrested in Italy

East Valley Tribune

By Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
July 19, 2005
A former Phoenix priest, accused of child molestations dating back to 1979, was arrested Saturday in Rome by Italian police.

Joseph J. Henn, 56, was under house arrest at the headquarters of his Salvatorian order near St. Peterís Square, according to his attorney speaking to News24.com, an international news service. The attorney said it would be up to an Italian court to work out extradition of Henn.

Henn, who served St. Markís Catholic Parish, 400 N. 30th St., from 1978 to 1982, was indicted in July 2003 in Maricopa County as part of a major investigation of child sexual abuse by priests going back to the 1970s. He is accused of molesting three boys, ages 11, 13 and 15, from June 1979 to June 1981. At the time, former Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley said he believed Henn was in Rome.

"We havenít received any notification from the State Department that anything has happened," county attorney spokesman Bill FitzGerald said Monday. "We canít do anything without them. It has to go nation to nation.

"If the information is true, then we are one step closer to Mr. Henn being returned to Arizona to face charges" he said.

Posted by kshaw at July 19, 2005 06:05 PM