A priest with Valley ties skipped out on Italian authorities last week who showed up to extradite him to Arizona to face charges of molesting children more than 25 years ago.
The Rev. Joseph Henn has been in Rome since 2003, when he was indicted by a Maricopa County grand jury on 13 counts of child molestation, sexual conduct with a minor and other sex offenses while a priest at St. Mark’s Catholic Parish, 400 N. 30th St., Phoenix.
“Italian authorities went to the place where he was under house arrest and he was gone,” Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said Tuesday.
Henn is the last of three priests who went to other countries after being indicted in 2003.
The indictments, and those of five other priests, came after a yearlong investigation into possible sexual misconduct at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix.
Last year, an Irish court refused to extradite the Rev. Patrick Colleary, former associate pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale.
The third priest was Joseph Briceno, formerly of St. Mary’s Catholic Parish in Chandler, who was arrested in December after he crossed the border from Mexico to California.
The others have either been convicted at trial or pleaded guilty, and one died just after his indictment.