$900,000 settlement reached in abuse case involving late Franciscan brother

By Marly Kosinski
Tribune Chronicle
September 12, 2016

YOUNGSTOWN - The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown and an order of Franciscan Friars based in Pennsylvania have settled 28 sexual abuse claims for $900,000, a diocesan official has confirmed.

The abuse claims were against the late Brother Stephen Baker, a member of the Third Order Regulars, Franciscan Friars Province of the Immaculate Conception based in Hollidaysburg, Pa. Baker, who committed suicide in 2013 at the age of 62 after the abuse allegations came to light, was a coach, teacher and athletic trainer at Warren John F. Kennedy High School in the 1980s.

Msgr. John Zuraw, spokesman for the Youngstown Diocese, said the diocese, along with the Franciscan Friars, "settled through mediation with 28 victims of Brother Baker."

Road to Recovery, Inc., an advocacy group for sexual abuse victims, is planning to hold a press conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday on the sidewalk across from the Youngstown Diocese headquarters at 144 W. Wood St. In an emailed release Monday, the group said the Youngstown Diocese and the Franciscan Friars "disrespected 28 childhood victims of sexual abuse by Brother Stephen Baker with a settlement of $900,000, thus re-victimizing and disrespecting the victims, once again acting unfairly toward sexual abuse victims and preventing healing."

Read more in Tuesday's Tribune Chronicle.


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