Altoona-Johnstown Diocese in Pennsylvania withdraws from previously-scheduled mediation at last minute and re-victimizes survivors of clergy sexual abuse

Road to Recovery


APRIL 27, 2014

Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak must stop deceptive tactics and get to the negotiating table

What: A press conference announcing the disappointment and frustration of dozens of clergy sexual abuse victims and their advocates toward the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, PA because of the last minute withdrawal by Bishop Mark L. Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown from attending mediation to settle dozens of cases of sexual abuse by Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R.

When: Monday, April 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Where: On the sidewalk in front of the headquarters of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, 927 S. Logan Boulevard, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648 – 814-695-5579.

Who: Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non – profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families, including several Johnstown, PA area victims and families. One or two sexual abuse victims of Br. Stephen Baker and their family members may attend as well.

Why: Religious leaders and attorneys representing the Franciscan Third Order Regular Friars of Hollidaysburg, PA; the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio; the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown; and attorneys for victims of sexual abuse were scheduled to meet with a mediator on Thursday and Friday, May 1-2, 2014, in Philadelphia, PA, to begin negotiations to settle dozens of cases of sexual abuse by Br. Stephen Baker, T.O.R., a former member of the faculty and staff of Bishop Mc Cort High School in Johnstown, PA, and a serial sexual abuser of children in Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Through his attorneys, the Bishop of Altoona-Johnstown, Mark L. Bartchak, suddenly and without warning, cancelled his diocese’s participation in the previously-scheduled mediation hearing, thus re-victimizing dozens of survivors of clergy sexual abuse. The press conference will call on Bishop Bartchak to stop his deceptive tactics, treat sexual abuse victims of Br. Stephen Baker and others with dignity, and stop the re-victimizing of survivors of sexual abuse.

Contacts: Robert M. Hoatson, Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250

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