3 Franciscan friars are arraigned in child endangerment case

Brother Stephen Baker is also implicated in molestation cases from a Warren high school

Brother Stephen Baker is a friar from Pennsylvania charged with child molestation.
Brother Stephen Baker, who once worked in Warren, was accused of child molestation before he killed himself in 2013 (Courtesy: Tribune Chronicle).

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – Three Franciscan friars charged with allowing a suspected sexual predator to hold jobs where he molested more than 100 children have been arraigned in Pennsylvania.

Robert D’Aversa, Anthony Criscitelli and Giles Schinelli are free until an April 14 preliminary hearing on child endangerment and conspiracy charges. Each carries up to seven years in prison.

State prosecutors say Schinelli assigned Brother Stephen Baker to Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, where he molested students from 1992 to 2000. Baker was also implicated in assaults at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren in the late 1970s.

D’Aversa and Criscitelli also headed Baker’s Franciscan order based near Hollidaysburg. They are charged with continuing to allow Baker access to the school and students.

Baker killed himself in January 2013 after church officials announced he’d molested students there in Ohio in the 1980s, prompting the McCort victims to come forward.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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