Judge delays friars’ trial because of ‘voluminous’ evidence

The trial won't occur until next year after defense attorneys said they needed "significant" time to review evidence

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 won’t stand trial until at least next year on charges linked to their role in supervising a suspected sexual predator accused of molesting more than 100 children, most at a Pennsylvania high school.

The Altoona Mirror reports Tuesday that Blair County Judge Jolene Kopriva has set an Aug. 31 status conference in the case. But she also ruled the trial won’t occur until next year after defense attorneys said they needed “significant” time to review “voluminous” evidence.

Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli assigned or supervised Brother Stephen Baker when he served at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown in the 1990s. Baker killed himself in 2013.

The friars have denied wrongdoing.

They were ordered to stand trial following a preliminary hearing in April.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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