New Details Surface in Cleric's Past

By Maria Miller
January 30, 2013

[with video]

New details continue to unfold in the case against a now-deceased friar accused of sexually molesting former students in at least four states.

6 News reported last week that in addition to Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, brother Stephen Baker also worked at two schools in Ohio and one in Virginia. On Wednesday, 6 News learned of a another; a prep school in Michigan.

"Some feel, 'OK, he can never harm another child,'" said Judy Jones, Midwest director for the support group Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. "Some may feel cheated that they won't ever see him behind bars."

It's been nearly two weeks since allegations of sexual abuse against Baker surfaced locally, and members of SNAP continue to uncover new details.

"Someone [was] in Detroit and found the news; they contacted us and said he was there," said Jones. "We were then able to go to the Catholic directory and find that yes, he was located there."

By looking at online directories and published reports, Baker served at the James Barry Robinson home for boys in Norfolk, Va., until 1977. On Wednesday, it was learned that from 1983 until 1985, he was at St. Mary's Prep School in Orchard Lake, Mich. From 1986 till 1992, he was in Warren, Ohio, serving at both St. Mary's Middle School and JFK High School. Then, from 1992 until 2000, he was a teacher and trainer at Bishop McCort.

But there are some gaps -- specifically, before 1977 and the six years after.

"It's very scary, and we urge anybody who has knowledge or who has been harmed by him to please contact police," said Jones.

Even if allegations against Baker do not surface at the schools in Virginia and Bichigan, SNAP leaders still question why the dioceses are not speaking up.

"This story has been out there, and now especially since his death, why are they still keeping quiet?" asked Jones. "What are they hiding?"

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Va., told 6 News Wednesday that the James Barry Robinson School was not part of the diocese, nor was Baker, so the diocese had no regulation over him at the time. The Catholic Diocese of Detroit confirmed Baker worked at St. Mary's Prep School in the '80s, but it said there were never allegations made against him. In fact, both dioceses said Wednesday was the first they had even heard of the case.








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