Advocacy group calls for Youngstown Diocese investigation

By Molly Reed
March 6, 2016

[with video]

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Road to Recovery, a group that represented and advocated for alleged victims of sexual abuse by a former Warren JFK baseball coach, was back in Youngstown on Sunday calling for an investigation.

The group wants Mahoning and Trumbull County prosecutors to request the state attorney general’s office launch an investigation of the Youngstown Diocese.

“We want a group of law enforcement officials to raid off that building, and to take out the files just the way they did in Pennsylvania,” said President Robert Hoatson.

The grand jury report in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese in Pennsylvania said the Diocese helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children.

In 2013, the Youngstown Diocese announced abuse settlements with 11 former students of Brother Stephen Baker while he was on staff at Warren JFK in the late ’80s. Students came forward years later, claiming they were also abused by Baker.

He committed suicide in January of 2013.

Road to Recovery claims another 28 of his victims are still waiting on Bishop George Murray of the Youngstown Diocese to settle claims.

“I’ve been trying to speak to the Bishop for two and a half years now,” said Barbara Aponte, mother of Luke Bradesku, who committed suicide 13 years after his abuse first started.

“In result of the sexual abuse by Father Baker, in order for me to see my son, I have to drive about sixty miles to a cemetary.”

Aponte says that although the Bishop asked JFK students to come forward with their stories, it wasn’t enough.

“That’s not taking the lead. Taking the lead would be him standing here next to us, saying this is what we’re going to do, this has been an atrocity.”

WKBN attempted to contact Bishop Murray, but has not received a response.


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