Local Priests Charged in out of State Child Sex Scandal
By Tony Marino
March 17, 2016
Orange County, Fla. — Two local religious leaders are accused of turning their back on the sexual abuse of dozens of children.
Investigators in Pennsylvania said Giles Schinelli, who worked at the San Pedro Center in Winter Park and Robert D’Aversa, who worked at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Mount Dora, knew they were dealing with a child predator at a Catholic school in Pennsylvania and did nothing. Both men have been charged in Pennsylvania with endangering the welfare of children and criminal conspiracy.
Officials say Schinelli, D’Aversa and a third priest, Anthony Criscitelli of Minnesota allowed more than 80 children to be abused.
The priests were leaders of the Franciscan Friars, which ran Pennsylvania’s Bishop McCort Catholic High School and are accused of allowing Stephen Baker to work at the school as a teacher and athletic trainer.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Katheleen Kane said "These individuals knew that Brother Baker was a child predator,”
Saying Baker had faced numerous child molestation allegations and that D'Aversa and Schinelli were warned after a psychiatric evaluation that Baker shouldn’t have one-on-one contact with children.
Despite the information, non of the three men contacted police or told school officials even after they learned that Baker had abused a child at the school.
According to a statement from the Archdiocese of Orlando, "Rev. Giles Schinelli and Rev. Robert D'Aversa were placed on administrative leave."
Both vacated their positions after they were put on leave Tuesday.
Investigators said Stephen Baker took his own life before the investigation concluded.