Federal court will determine if former Ohio seminary student is allowed to bond out

Joel Wright

SAN DIEGO (WCMH)–On Thursday, a federal court will determine if former Ohio seminary student Joel Wright should be allowed to bond out or should be incarcerated until his trial.

Wright, who studied at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus for one semester, was arrested at Lindberg Field in San Diego last Friday.

He is now charged with traveling with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a minor and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country.

According to federal investigators, 23-year-old Wright’s arrest comes on the heels of a months-long investigation.

He made his first appearance in federal court Monday afternoon in San Diego before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal.

The judge appointed federal defenders to represent him, and set the detention hearing for Thursday Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. The government moved for detention based on risk of flight and danger to the community, according to the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California

He is currently being held at the San Diego Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Skomal also set a preliminary hearing date for February 11.

Wright did not enter a plea.

The Josephinum provided NBC4 with a checklist of requirements for all incoming seminary students; Wright would have had to meet the same criteria.

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