It appears to be an endless parade of horror, and it is good to see attorney Mitchell Garabedian, the heroic attorney who led the effort to help victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Boston, involved.
Another case results in charges, as reported by News965.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Three ex-leaders of a Franciscan religious order were charged Tuesday with allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to take on jobs, including a position as a high school athletic trainer, that enabled him to molest more than 100 children.
Giles Schinelli, 73; Robert D’Aversa, 69; and Anthony M. Criscitelli, 61, were successively the provincial ministers of a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church in western Pennsylvania from 1986 to 2010. In that role, each assigned and supervised the order’s members.
Each was charged with conspiracy and child endangerment. Prosecutors said the three have been given until Friday to surrender.
Schinelli is now a pastoral administrator at the San Pedro Center, a Catholic retreat in Winter Park, Florida.
D’Aversa is pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Community in Mount Dora, Florida. Anthony Criscitelli is pastor of St. Bridget Parish Community in Minneapolis.
A message left for Schinelli at the retreat was not returned. People answering the phones at the churches where D’Aversa and Criscitelli work said they were either traveling or not available for comment.
Brother Stephen Baker, the friar at the center of the abuse allegations, killed himself in 2013 — with two knives to the heart — after church officials in Youngstown, Ohio, announced they were settling lawsuits by 11 former students who said Baker abused them at schools in Ohio from 1986 to 1990.More than 100 abuse claims were subsequently filed by former students of Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, where Baker worked from 1992 to 2000. Millions in dollars in damages have been paid out.
The order issued a statement saying it cooperated with the investigation and was “deeply saddened” by the announcement. It also said it “extends its most sincere apologies to the victims and to the communities who have been harmed.”
“There is a need for transparency and criminal prosecution is a great road to get there,” said Boston-based attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represented nearly 40 former McCort students who have settled claims that Baker sexually abused them. He also represented the 11 Ohio victims, whose settlements prompted the McCort victims to come forward.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that there are hundreds and hundreds of Brother Stephen Baker victims out there,” he said.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who announced the charges, said the men “were more concerned about protecting the image of the order, more concerned with being in touch with lawyers than in protecting the flock they served.
“Though the grand jury probe focused on Baker, prosecutors said evidence was uncovered that at least eight other Franciscan friars had been transferred to other locations following abuse allegations.
“No reports were ever made to law enforcement,” Kane said. “As the grand jury found, the ultimate priority was to avoid public scrutiny at all costs.”