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Three former Franciscan provincials in Pennsylvania face charges for failing to curb abusive friar

March 15, 2016

Three former Franciscan provincials face criminal charges for giving new pastoral assignments to a friar who was allegedly known as a child molester.

Fathers Giles Schinelli, Robert D'Aversa, and Anthony Criscitelli will be charged with child endangerment and conspiracy, for failing to remove Brother Stephen Baker from active ministry. Brother Baker, who took his own life in 2013, has been named in more than 100 abuse complaints. 

Pennsylvania's Attorney General Kathleen Kane said that the three former Franciscan provincials "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." The criminal charges are an outgrowth of a grand-jury investigation into sexual abuse in the Diocese of Altoona.

 
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