More alleged cleric abuse victims emerge

Brother Baker died in late January in a monastery from a self-inflicted knife wound to the chest after settlements were reached with 11 of his alleged sexual abuse victims from JFK in Warren.
Mar 2, 2013


Notification of two additional civil lawsuits on behalf of former students at Bishop McCort Catholic High School who allege they were sexually molested by the late Brother Stephen Baker were filed in Blair County court on Thursday.

Altoona attorney Richard Serbin filed the notice, the first step in the civil action, to be served on Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular; Province of the Immaculate Conception; The Very Most Rev. Father Robert D'Aversa, T.O.R.; Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown; former Bishop Joseph V. Adamec; and Bishop McCort Catholic High School.

Adamec was named because, while he is now retired, he was in charge of the diocese during the time when Baker was working at Bishop McCort, which was at that time a diocesan high school.

In 2008 the school became independent of the diocese.

D'Aversa was leader of the Province of the Immaculate Conception order during the years Baker worked for the diocese at Bishop McCort, Serbin said.

These latest filings list the claimants as John Doe 78 and John Doe 79, and likely will be followed by additional civil lawsuits, said Serbin, a clergy sexual abuse civil litigator.

"It is anticipated that additional claims will be filed on behalf of other former students who have contacted me," he said.

Earlier this week, Serbin filed civil suits listing the above named defendants on behalf of victims he listed as John Doe 75, 76 and 77.

Baker, 62, worked at Bishop McCort from about 1992 to 2000, but was seen on the campus of the Johnstown school after he left his duties as religion instructor and his work with the athletic department.

Serbin said Baker was working at the school as an athletic trainer, but there was never any evidence he had any certification in the field.

Baker died in late January from a self-inflicted knife wound to the chest inside his residence at St. Bernardine Monastery outside Hollidaysburg.

Serbin said Thursday that victim Joe Doe 78 is represented by himself and attorney Mitchell Garabedian of Boston.

Garabedian was the attorney who represented 11 alleged sexual abuse victims of Baker who reached a settlement announced in early January with the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio.

Baker worked at the John F. Kennedy High School in Warren, Ohio, from the mid-1980s to early 1990s, when he came to Bishop McCort.

Similar lawsuits listing four victims, former Bishop McCort students, have been filed in Cambria County court by Greensburg attorney Susan Williams.

Pittsburgh attorney Kathleen Gallagher, who is representing the high school, could not be reached for comment.

The diocese office in Altoona was closed for the afternoon Thursday to allow employees to attend a service honoring the outgoing pope.

Tony DeGol, secretary for communications for the diocese, when reached earlier this week, said he could not comment because of pending litigation.


By Kathy Mellott - The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa. (MCT)

(c)2013 The Tribune-Democrat (Johnstown, Pa.)

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So many victims , catholics wake up finally

Chef Mike

Nowhere near the number of victims of kids molested by school teachers in the public system. Wake up taxpayers.

Brock Lee

family molest kids more then teachers an preists but it doent get reported

Lillie Chaos

Am I so old that I am thinking this abuse of children has exploded into epidemic proportions or was it just not discussed in 60s and 70s like today? All those children victimized....just so terrible. How many have not had voices and carry the weight of these deviants.....sickening. No excuse. They should be locked up. Teachers in schools systems and priests.
Mandatory 100 years or something --- chain gangs...castration..... We are supposed to respect these people and "TRUST " these people. Our moral leaders are without their own in far too many instances.

swiss family

Chef Mike... your figures might be a little confusing.. yes, there are teachers that molest little kids, as sad and disgusting as that is, BUT you can not minimalise the Catholic Church's extensive record of children being molested by Priests, and then when it is discovered, instead of that Priest facing charges, going to jail, going through a trial, and being cast into Prison , as should be done, and is normally done when a teacher is found guilty of such a crime, Not in the Church, They cover it up, move the pedophile priest to another unsuspecting parish where he has a whole new assortment of innocent , unsuspecting children to corrupt, molest, and devastate... some of whom will commit suicide because of the shame that they feel, unjustly.

I would be willing to bet that if you investigated the numbers, and kept in mind that most of the children that the Priests are molesting are young Boys, and statistically, boys are more apt NOT to tell when it is molestation by a person of the same sex... I think you will find that the Church has much higher percentages in the Ratio to pedophiles VS victims...then include all of the people, including Popes that were aware of this, and covered it up and turned them loose on different children.. then you might start to see the cancer that is taking over the Catholic Church in my opinion


Lille it was not talked about. Like so many other things. People from that era that complain now "forget" so much.


I am sure that this went on in the 50's and 60's. There is so much that did go on in people's lives that they never talked about. I had a girlfriend who I thought had the best home life ever. Then when I saw her again after 40 years, she told me that her dad had molested her. Is it true? I don't know. I have trouble believing that so many people would not tell. Why wait until years later or after someone is dead? I really hope that it isn't all about the money. I pray for all involved.