MN- Notorious predator worked at church Nienstedt is at tonight
For immediate release: Monday, September 22, 2014
He's Brother Stephen P. Baker who worked at St. Patrick’s parish from 1977 to 1981. That’s where he sexually assaulted Doug Larson. Baker's accused of molesting more than 80 kids.
Almost a year ago, we in SNAP urged Nienstedt to reach out to others Br. Baker may have assaulted at this church. We were ignored.
In 2005, church officials paid Larson $50,000 but told no one. As a result, “Baker may have had access to children through the late 2000s,” according to the independent archive group BishopAccountability.org.
We believe there is a good chance that Baker abused more Minnesota kids. We want Archbishop Nienstedt to disclose whether his staff has heard from more local Baker victims. And tonight, we want Nienstedt to aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered Baker's crimes.
Last year, 11 of Baker’s victims settled their cases with the Youngstown diocese and Baker’s direct supervisors. (Both the accusations and the settlements were kept secret by Catholic officials.) Since then, at least another 69 individuals have reported being victimized by Baker. Many come from the Altoona-Johnstown diocese in Pennsylvania, where Baker worked at a Catholic school. Baker also worked at church facilities in Michigan and Virginia.
(Attorneys who represent Baker's victims include Jeff Anderson of St. Paul MN, Richard Serbin of Altoona PA and Mitchell Garabedian of Boston MA.)
Baker belonged to a Catholic religious order called the Third Order Regular Franciscans. (Often, bishops try to distance themselves from religious order sex offender clerics. But such clerics work in a diocese only with the bishop’s approval. And in Ohio, the local bishop paid 30% of the settlements with Baker victims, which proves that bishops are at least partially responsible for harm done by religious order clerics in their dioceses.)
Baker’s photo and work history are here: http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Baker_Stephen_P.htm
If Nienstedt really wants “healing,” he'll start tonight by begging everyone at his event to aggressively seek out anyone else in Inver Grove Heights who may have been assaulted by Br. Baker. He'll go to any other place in the Twin Cities where Br. Baker worked and do the same thing. He'll put Brother Baker's name, photo, in work history in every parish bulletin in the archdiocese. (Remember – it takes just seconds for a child molester to shove his tongue down a girl's throat or his hands in a boy's pants.)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
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.