Assignment Record – Rev. Michael Stephen Baker
Los Angeles archbishop was Timothy Manning (1970-1985).
|June 1976||St. Joan of Arc||Los Angeles||CA||3/3, 2/2||St. Joan of Arc's had a school with 281-284 students.|
|June 1976||Jully 1982||St. Paul of the Cross||
• Baker was charged in 2002 with molesting an altar boy during his time at St. Paul's. The case was thrown out in 2003 due to a Supreme Court ruling on the statute of limitations. The abuse is said to have begun when the boy was 7 years-old, continuing until the boy was 14.
|CA||2/2||St. Paul's had a school with 317-296 students.|
Manning was succeeded by Roger Michael Mahony (1985-2011)
• Baker was accused in a 2000 lawsuit of sexually abusing two boys, who were 5 and 7 year old brothers, beginning at St. Hilary's in 1984, and continuing until 1999. The boys' family moved to Mexico in 1986, but Baker flew them over the years to L.A., Palm Springs, and Arizona. Baker also arranged for the family to move to Tucson, AZ, and visited frequently.
|CA||2/3 In residence.||
St. Hilary's had a school with 311-405 students.
The brothers sued and received a confidential settlement from the archdiocese in 2000. The boys' attorney said Baker confessed to her that he had "had sex" with many children in the United States, Mexico, Thailand and Nepal.
|Aug.1,1986||Dec. 1986||Notre Dame University||South Bend||IN||continuing education student||Per news accounts, Baker went to Notre Dame on sabbatical.|
|Jan.1, 1987||St. Catherine of Laboure||Torrance||CA||3/5||
St. Catherine's had a school with 482 students.
Baker was assigned to St. Catherine's in May 1986, and was to start there in Jan. 1987, after a sabbatial.
Baker has stated that he told Mahony in Dec. 1986 that he had sexually abused children, and that the archdiocesan attorney asked if the police should be called. Baker said Mahony responded, "No, no, no.... . "
|Jan.1, 1987||June 22, 1987||Servants of the Paraclete||Jemez Springs||NM||patient||
Baker was sent to this NM treatment facility for pedophile priests.
Mahony allowed Baker to return to ministry in the archdiocese, restricting him from one-on-one contact with minors. Baker violated the restrictions three times, yet was kept in ministry.
|June 22,1987||Aug. 1, 1987||St. Elisabeth's||Van Nuys||CA||temporary stay|
|Sept. 1, 1987||July 31,1988||Catholic Charities||Commission on Aging|
|Sept. 1, 1987||1988||St. Thomas the Apostle||Los Angeles||CA||4/4 In residence.||St. Thomas' had a school with 320 students.|
|1988||1993||St. Elisabeth's||Van Nuys||CA||
Baker is noted to be "in residence" here in the 1990 and 1993 Directories.
Baker was assigned to work with retired priests.
|St. Elizabeth's had a school with 343-319 students.|
|June 1, 1991||St. Linus||Norwalk||CA||Administrator Pro-Tem||This assignment is per news accounts.|
|Nov. 1, 1991||St. Gerard Majella||Los Angeles||CA||Administrator Pro-Tem||This assignment is per news accounts.|
|Jan. 11, 1992||St. Mary's||Palmdale||CA||Administrator Pro-Tem||This assignment is per news accounts.|
|March 15,1992||St. Lucy's||Long Beach||CA||Administrator Pro-Tem||This assignment is per news accounts.|
|April 4, 1992||Sacred Heart||Lincoln Heights||CA||Administrator Pro-Tem||This assignment is per news accounts.|
|Jan. 15, 1993||1997||St. Columbkille||
• Baker was charged in Jan. 2007 with sexually abusing a St. Columbkille boy, beginning in 1995 . Baker is said to have given the boy hot chocolate, then molesting him after the boy fell asleep. He is also said to have given the boy a ring with a cross emblazoned on a red stone to symbolize their "special friendship", pricking the boy's finger and his own, pressing the fingers together and saying the two were "joined for life".
2/3, 2/2, 3/3
Baker is referred to as "Monsignor" in the 1994-1997 Directories.
St. Columbkille had a school with 290-203 students, and a CCD program 1995-1997 with 115-460 students.
The archdiocese claimed in 1996 that the boy and his mother and sister denied he had been abused. In fact, the real victim and family were never located or interviewed. The 2007 charges were brought after a detective located the actual victim, and his sister and mother. The young man thanked the detective for "never giving up" and said he would never have come forward.
|July 1, 1993||1996||Office of Vicar for Clergy||Los Angeles||CA||Ministry to retired priests.|
|Aug. 1, 1996||Dec. 31, 1996||Sabbatical||This is per news accounts.|
|March 1, 1997||April 18, 2000||St. Camillus De Lellis Center for Pastoral Care/L.A. County/University of Southern CA Hospital||Los Angeles||CA||4/5, 4/4 Chaplain||Baker is not indexed beyond the 2001 Directory. He was removed from ministry in early 2000 when the archdiocese learned of preparation for a lawsuit with claims against Baker. He was defrocked in December 2000.|
Baker was to stand trial in 2003 on charges of molesting a boy, but the case was thrown out due to a Supreme Court ruling regarding the statute of limitations. Baker had been charged with over a dozen crimes against boys, but all of those cases were thrown out due to the ruling.
Mahony apologized publicly in 2004 for his mishandling of Baker. Prosecutors had to fight to get Baker's personnel file, which archdiocesan officials would not release.
Baker was arrested Jan. 20, 2006 for the past sexual abuse of a young boy. He was taken into custody at the airport upon arriving from a trip to Thailand and Nepal. The accuser was one of two brothers who received a secret settlement from the archdiocese in 2000.
In Dec. 2007, Baker pleaded guilty to molesting two boys, and was sentenced to 10 years and 4 months in prison.
|2007||Oct. 2011||Prison||CA||inmate||On Jan. 25, 2010, Mahony was deposed regarding his handling of Baker. Previously deposed were former Vicar for Priests Bishop John J. Curry (1986-1990), and past review board president, Judge Richard P. Byrne.|
|Oct. 2011||Sept. 2012||CA||
Baker was released from prison on parole in Oct. 3, 2011.
Just a few weeks later, on Nov. 2, 2011, Baker was arrested at a Costa Mesa motel where he had been living, for violating parole. Police responded when the GPS device Baker was required to wear showed he had gone within 50 yards of a Catholic grade school. As a sex offender, he was not permitted to be within 100 yards of a school.
He was again arrested in Aug. 2012 for when parole officers found him next to a pool where children were swimming, at a CA resort. He was known to be in jail as of Sept. 11, 2012.
Two more cases against Baker were scheduled to go to trial in November 2012.
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1975-2001)
• Cardinal Mahony Kept Cleric's Abuse Secret for 16 Years, By Glenn F. Bunting, Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2002