Number of Alleged Br. Baker Abuse Victims around 65

The Wkbn
February 24, 2013

[with video]

The mother of one of Brother Stephen Baker's alleged victims stood with Dr. Robert Hoatson of Road to Recovery to talk about the more than 50 new victims that have come forward since Jan. 16 alleging Baker sexually abused them.

Hoatson said the total now stands at about 65 victims covering Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Sunday's press conference was held in front of Warren's John F. Kennedy High School, where some of the behavior is said to have occurred.

"We take this time to applaud the courage of the nearly 65 men and women who have stepped forward to say enough is enough, " Hoatson said the latest victims are not ready to go public, but felt compelled to come forward. "They have contacted either Road To Recovery or Mr. (Mitchell) Garabedian in Boston."

Joining Hoatson was Barbara Aponte.  She claims her son, Luke Bradesku, was one of Baker's victims.  Bradesku committed suicide in 2003, and she believes the emotional turmoil from the abuse was the reason her son took his own life. 

"Some of the people, I knew these kids, besides my son.  And some of them have had their lives just turned upside down," Aponte said.

Hoatson said these new alleged victims won't be able to sue because of Ohio's statute of limitations law.  But what he and Aponte wants most is for all victims to come forward and get help.

"What we're hoping for, the reason they came forward, is to begin their healing and that's the key to it all.  The only avenue they have is to now do something legally and ask a lawyer to approach all parties involved and see what can be done about that," said Hoatson.

Road to Recovery has also asked faculty and staff at John F. Kennedy to come forward and reveal if students reported any abuse to them.

Baker, a former teacher and coach at JFK, and a member of the T.O.R. Franciscan Order, committed suicide last month after his students accused him of sexual abuse.


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