25 New Clergy Abuse Claims in Ohio School Case
November 21, 2013
Twenty-five additional sex-abuse claims have been filed in the case of a Franciscan brother who killed himself after allegations emerged at a Catholic high school, the Youngstown Diocese said Wednesday.
The diocese said it would review the additional claims and the demand for $1 million in compensation for each alleged victim.
The alleged victims' attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, said the abuse occurred from 1985 to 1992.
The diocese and Franciscans settled 11 earlier abuse claims against the brother for $75,000 each.
If the latest claims are found credible, Bishop George Murry said the diocese would offer financial assistance for counseling.
Brother Stephen Baker killed himself Jan. 26 at St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg, Pa., after the allegations emerged at John F. Kennedy High School in Warren.
Abuse claims also emerged at another school where Baker taught and coached, Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, Pa.
The new claims from Warren came from men now in their 30's and 40's and who were about 12 to 18 at the time of the alleged abuse, Garabedian said.
Garabedian said his experience with such cases indicates to him that more victims could come forward.
The bishop said he was deeply sorry for the pain suffered by clergy abuse victims.
"The Diocese of Youngstown will continue to respond in a pastoral way to victims of child sexual abuse," Murry said in a statement.