The significance of this criminal charge against these vile men, is that for decades children were afraid to go to their parents to tell them that they were being raped by Brother Baker. Grown men knew this man was a child predator and yet they put him in positions of power over children and never reported it. And fishwives sit on social media calling Bill Cosby’s accusers liars and worse. Three members of a Franciscan religious order were criminally charged with conspiracy on Tuesday for letting a friar who was a known predator hold jobs in which he sexually abused more than 100 children, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said.
A grand jury found that the leaders knew of abuse allegations against Brother Stephen Baker as early as 1988, yet gave him Catholic high school jobs that allowed him contact with children, Kane said.
Three of his supervisors at the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regulars, Province of the Immaculate Conception, were charged with one count each of endangering the welfare of children and criminal conspiracy. They are Giles Schinelli, 73, Robert D’Aversa, 69, and Anthony Criscitelli, 61, each of whom served as a minister provincial at the order, based in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania.
“These men turned a blind eye to the innocent children they were trusted to protect,” Kane said. “They were more concerned with protecting the image of the order.”
The charges were bought weeks after the same grand jury found that over four decades, 50 Roman Catholic priests abused hundreds of children while bishops covered up their actions. No criminal charges, however, were filed in that case, in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, because the alleged incidents were too old to be prosecuted, Kane said.
In the Franciscan case, the grand jury found the three ministers provincial had “exclusive and total control over the assignment of personnel,” including Baker, Kane said. Despite a 1988 sex abuse allegation against Baker, they allowed him to be assigned in 1992 to Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, without warning school officials.
Stop calling alleged victims liars!