Judge denies request by attorney representing priest facing rape charge

Oakland Press

August 24, 2020

By Aileen Wingblad


An attorney representing a Catholic pastor accused of a decades-old rape of a child was denied a request in court Monday to have certain witnesses stricken from the case.

The request was denied by Wayne County Circuit Judge Bridget Mary Hathaway, court records show.

A trial date for Fr. Joseph “Jack” Baker is pending after the trial scheduled for last spring was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Baker, 58, is currently suspended from his duties at St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford due to the allegations. He’s charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct – sexual penetration with a person less than 13 years ago, which allegedly occurred in a storage room of St. Mary Catholic Church in Wayne in 2004.

The Oakland Press is not identifying the victim of the alleged rape due to the nature of the offense.

At a preliminary exam last year in 18th District Court in Westland, the alleged victim testified that the incident happened when he was a second-grader at the parish school. He said he was in the church’s storage room or sacristy when Baker sat him down and began talking to him, and then raped him.

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