The Oakland Press
August 29, 2019
By Aileen Wingblad
A Waterford Township Catholic priest accused of raping a young boy was bound over to Wayne County Circuit Court on Thursday on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct – sexual penetration with a person less than 13 years old.
At a preliminary exam in a Wayne County district court, visiting Judge Randy Kalmbach advanced the case against Father Joseph “Jack” Baker to the higher court on Thursday after hearing testimony from the alleged victim, now age 23, who said Baker sexually assaulted him in a storage room of St. Mary Catholic Church in Wayne in 2004.
Baker, 57, is currently suspended from his duties as pastor of St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford and all public ministry, as ordered by the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The Oakland Press is not identifying the victim of the alleged rape due to the nature of the offense.
Taking the stand in 18th District Court in Westland, the alleged victim testified that the incident unfolded sometime between February 2004 and June 2004 when he was a second-grader at St. Mary. While attending an after-school catechism class there in preparation for the sacrament of First Holy Communion, he said, a teacher asked him to retrieve a book from the church’s storage room or sacristy, which is where he encountered Baker that day.
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