Former Metro Detroit priest convicted of sexually assaulting a child


October 14, 2022

By Kayla Clarke

Joseph Baker will be sentenced on Dec. 19

A 60-year-old priest has been convicted of child sex crimes in Wayne County.

Joseph “Jack” Baker, 60, of Wayne, was convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct sexual penetration with a person under 13.

Baker had been a pastor at St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford, Michigan since 2008. Before that, he was a pastor at St. Mary Parish in Wayne, associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn, and associate pastor at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills.

“I want victims of abuse to know they have an advocate in the Attorney General’s office,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “We are committed to ensuring that every case of sexual abuse and assault is thoroughly reviewed and that whenever we are able to pursue justice for a victim, we do so aggressively and relentlessly. We must all commit to breaking down the walls of silence that so often surround sexual assault and abuse. Today’s verdict is long-awaited justice.”

The charge came after Nessel’s office received a tip from the Archdiocese of Detroit, which received the original report and immediately reported it to the lead prosecutor on Attorney General Nessel’s clergy abuse team.

Nessel’s office seized 1.5 million paper documents, 3.5 million electronic documents through warrants executed in October 2018 as part of its clergy abuse investigation. So far, the team has secured criminal charges against 11 people with ties to the Catholic Church and multiple convictions.

Baker will be held in the Wayne County Jail until he is sentenced on Dec. 19 at 9 a.m.

Do you have information about the Catholic Church that would help the attorney general’s office investigate? You can leave an anonymous tip by clicking here or calling the investigation hotline at 844-324-3374 (M-F from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)