HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - A man living in a Blair County Monastery is alleged to have sexually abused boys, dating back to the 1980's.
A Franciscan brother, now living in Blair County, is accused of sexually abusing 11 students at an Ohio high school in the 1980s.
Those Ohio victims' attorney says Brother Stephen Baker, recently settled out of court. Baker was never criminally charged.
Brother Stephan baker was a teacher and coach at bishop mccort high school in Johnstown in the late 1990's... Just a few years after the alleged abuse in Ohio... And there one alleged victim says, he used to manipulate the kids he abused...
A Boston Lawyer says he negotiated settlements for eleven men; ten attended John F. Kennedy High School from 1986 to 1990. They claim that Brother Baker who taught religion and coached baseball molested them.
An anonymous victim says Baker would allegedly molest his victims after a workout.
"Either put you in a whirlpool, and you know, watch you take a whirlpool or massage you know, your... Different areas, you know your private areas, maybe areas unrelated to your injury... Everything seemed to originate from the groin. All injuries must originate from the groin."
The Lawyer says each victim received a "high five figure" in settlement money. Meanwhile Baker moved on to Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown in the late 1990's. This past November, Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown says he got word of Baker
having "inappropriate contact" with minors during the late 1990's. Bartchak says he reported it immediately to authorities and Baker was removed from all ministerial activities. To this day, he remains under supervision and has no contact with minors and lives at a monastery in
The Boston lawyer has since said that a 12th man has contacted him claiming he was also abused by Baker.
As of this writing, there's no word on criminal charges. The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape says that the statute of limitations to file charges for child abuse cases is until the "child victim's" 50th birthday.
Both Bishop Bartchak and Baker's superior issued statements regarding the church's position on this. They are posted below:
Bishop Mark Bartchak:
"The abuse of minors at any time and place is wrong and can never be excused," Bishop
Bartchak said. The Bishop continues to pray for all those who have been harmed, and he remains
Committed to providing appropriate assistance to victims. The victims' advocate in the Diocese
Of Altoona Johnstown can be reached at (814) 886-3972.
Revered Patrick Quinn from the Blair County Monastery where Baker now lives has released this statement:
Brother Stephen has been and continues to be removed from all public ministry and is living under supervision in which he has no contact with minors.
The Province encourages anyone who has been harmed by Br. Stephen Baker or any of its members to contact the Minister Provincial.