It appears that the basis of the criminal charges against the three friars, who exercised supervisory duties, is that they allowed Baker to maintain contact with students after After , Baker maintained contact with students through high school functions, including sports events.
One witness testified that Baker had access to the school facilities until or and may have been given access by a fellow teacher at Bishop McCort after that time. The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has been shaken by reports that hundreds of children were molested by priests and other employees over the course of decades.
The Franciscan Conspiracy
The OAG recently convened a special Grand Jury to investigate allegations of hundreds of reports of child molestation within the Diocese. This recent case mirrors another priest abuse case in Philadelphia involving William J.
Lynn, a former monsignor who oversaw priest assignments with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In , a Philadelphia jury convicted Lynn of endangering the welfare of children by reassigning suspected pedophile priests to other, unsuspecting parishes in the Philadelphia area.
Grand Jury Findings Against Franciscan Order in Pennsylvania
After three years in the appellate court system, the PA Supreme Court upheld his conviction. The court analyzed the version of the endangering the welfare of children law in effect at the time, before the version of the law was amended and became effective in Lynn was charged with endangering the welfare of children under this version of the law.
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The issue was whether the older version of the law required direct supervision of children, i. The court answered that question in the negative, finding that supervisors who indirectly or generally supervised the welfare of children could be found guilty. The new case involving the 3 Franciscan friars is based on allegations of conduct similar to the Lynn case—protecting priests who were known to abuse children and allowing them to have continued, unfettered access to children.
The Grand Jury notes that he experience did not translate into success or even appropriate handling of the offenders. However, the concept that a member of their Oder would abuse a child was not foreign to them.
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3 Franciscan Friars arraigned in widespread child sex abuse case in central Pennsylvania | WJAC
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