3 friars asking judge to dismiss predator oversight charges

Prosecutors say the friars assigned or supervised Brother Stephen Baker, who was accused of molesting students in Warren

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 are asking a judge to dismiss criminal charges that they didn’t properly supervise a suspected sexual predator accused of molesting more than 100 children, most at a Pennsylvania high school.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday on the defense motions filed by attorneys for Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli.

State prosecutors say the friars 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, shortly after a settlement was announced that he had molested students in Warren.

That settlement prompted more than 80 former McCort students to come forward with molestation allegations that have resulted in more than $8 million in settlements. The friars say they’re not responsible.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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