PA--Criminal hearing for Franciscan Friars in sex abuse cover-up case set for Wednesday
National victims support group will be available to comment, answer questions
Clergy sex abuse survivors and their supporters will attend a criminal hearing for three Franciscan Friars charged with failing to properly supervise a Johnstown-area sexual predator cleric, accused of abuse by more than 90 children.
Afterward, they will comment on the outcome of the hearing and answer questions from the media.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
The hearing begins at 8:30 am
At the Blair County Courthouse
423 Allegheny St in Hollidaysburg, PA
Two or three members of a national victims’ support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAPNetwork.org) and their supporters, including John Nesbella, the SNAP leader for the Altoona-Johnstown area.
Franciscan Friars Giles Schinelli, Robert D'Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli are charged with criminal child endangerment and conspiracy for failing to properly supervise Brother Stephen Baker, a suspected sexual predator whose assignments put him in a position to molest children.
Baker killed himself in 2013, shortly after the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstwon settled claims with 11 of his alleged victims.
Criminal charges stemmed from an FBI investigation of the civil lawsuits against Baker and a 2016 grand jury report that found that the three defendants should have done more to protect children.
Baker was a religion teacher and athletic trainer at Johnstown's Bishop McCort High School in the 1990s.
Judy Jones ( 636-433-2511, SNAPjudy@gmail.com), JohnNesbella (814 243-5213, John.Nesbella@gd-ms.com),
Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003, bdorris@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.