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Franciscan provincials will face trial on child-endangerment charge in Pennsylvania abuse case

April 27, 2016

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that three former Franciscan provincials should face trial on criminal charges of child endangerment because of their failure to curb the activities of a brother who has been accused of molesting more than 100 children.

Fathers Giles Schinelli, Robert D'Aversa, and Anthony Criscitelli were at various times responsible for supervising Brother Stephen Baker, and giving him new assignments. After a grand-jury investigation of sexual abuse, Pennsylvania's Attorney General Kathleen Kane charged that the provincials had ignored evidence of abuse because they "were more concerned about protecting the image of the order." Brother Baker committed suicide in 2013. 

At a preliminary hearing, the judge rejected arguments by defense lawyers, who contended that the criminal charges were filed too late and that the Franciscan provincials acted appropriately in light of the information available to them. 

 
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