2 Altoona Franciscan friars enter pleas in child sex abuse case
By STEPHEN HUBA, May 4, 2018, TribLive
Two Altoona Franciscan friars will serve five years' probation for their part in covering up the child sexual abuse committed by Brother Stephen Baker in the 1990s, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.
The friars, Robert D'Aversa, 70, and Anthony Criscitelli, 63, entered no-contest pleas Friday to endangering the welfare of children, a first-degree misdemeanor, Shapiro said.
They are among the first religious leaders in the United States, and the first members of a Pennsylvania religious order, to be held criminally liable for covering up sexual abuse of children by other clergy.
“These defendants knew the abuser was a serious threat to children, but they allowed him to engage with children and have access to them as part of his job within their order,” Shapiro said. “They chose time and time again to . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.