Assignment Record – Brother Stephen P. Baker, T.O.R. aka Paul Stephen Baker

Summary of Case: A Third Order Regular Franciscan brother of the Province of the Immaculate Conception, Baker was a religion teacher, baseball coach and athletic trainer at high schools in Youngstown, OH, Johnstown, PA, and Orchard Lake, MI. He worked, too, at a high school in Inver Lake, MN. Baker was also assigned at some point earlier in his career to high schools and a boys' home in Norfolk, VA. Baker is said to have sexually abused "dozens, if not hundreds" of students, male and female. His modus operandi is said to have been to tell athletes they needed massages to prevent injuries, then to proceed to rub them down with oils, including their genitals. He is also accused of digitally penetrating them. Former students have said he would grope them in hallways and during religion class. One former female student has reported that he requested she show up for treatment of a sports injury in loose fitting clothing and no underwear. Baker was the subject of a 2012 settlement with eleven of his accusers. He is said by a superior to have been removed from ministry "long before 2010." Baker took his own life January 26, 2013.


 

 

   

Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1970s

Richmond bishop was John Joyce Russell (1958-1973), followed by Walter Francis Sullivan (1974-2003)

  Holy Trinity Norfolk VA   Holy Trinity had a school.
1970s   James Barry-Robinson High School and Home for Boys Norfolk VA   This assignment is per a James Barry-Robinson website.
Jan. 1978 June 1978 JFK High School Youngstown OH    

1977

St. Paul and Minneapolis archbishop was John Robert Roach (1975-1995)

1981 St. Patrick's

Inver Grove Heights

Baker was accused of sexually abusing a boy who met Baker when he was an 8th grader in 1977. The boy's mother taught religion class with with Baker at St. Patrick's. This accuser reported the abused to the archdiocese in 2003, who referred him to the T.O.R. Provincial Superior, Rev. Anthony Criscitelli. The man received a settlement from the T.O.R.s in 2005.

MN Catechetical Coordinator

 

 

1981 1983          

1983

Detroit archbishop was Edmund Casimir Szoka (1981-1990)

1985 St. Mary's Preparatory High School

Orchard Lake

A man who received a settlement from the T.O.R.s in 2005 after reporting abuse as a child by Baker in MN said he was told in 2003 by T.O.R. Provincial Superior, Rev. Anthony Criscitelli, that "there was a similar abuse claim from Michigan".

In March 2013 the father of a former St. Mary's student stated publicly that in March 1985 he confronted Baker and a St. Mary's administrator after learning that Baker sexually abused the man's son.

By March 27, 2013 six former St. Mary's students had emerged with accusations that Baker sexually abused them. All came forward after Baker's suicide.

MI wrestling coach, teacher, athletic trainer, dormitory official

St. Mary's prep. had 235-219 students, all male.

On Jan. 31, 2013 Detroit archdiocesan officials said that there have been no reports of abuse against Baker.

Aug. 1985

Youngstown bishop was James William Malone (1968-1995)

June 1992 JFK High School

Youngstown

Baker was accused in a lawsuit of the sexual abuse of 10 male JFK students, and a boy from another school, from 1986-1990. His accusers said his modus operandi was to tell them they needed massages to avoid sports injuries, then to fondle and digitally penetrate them. They said he also groped students in the hallways, and that sexual abuse also occurred on sports the teams' road trips.

In late 2012 a 12th man not involved in the earlier lawsuit disclosed past abuse by Baker.

In Jan. 2013, after allegations of Baker's abuse became known publicly, many more accusers came forward. By Jan. 18 there were 18 alleged victims from JFK and 2 from another school, St. Mary's.

One former JFK student, a woman, disclosed in Jan. 2013 that when she was being treated for a sports injury Baker told her to come back to the training room at 6pm in loose fitting shirts and no underwear. She did not comply.

In Feb. 2013 the mother of a former student stated that her son took his own life in 2003 due to having been abused by Baker. She added that she knew other Baker victims whose lives were "turned upside-down".

OH religion teacher, sports trainer, baseball coach

Diocesan officials stated in Jan. 2013 that they first became aware of allegations against Baker in 2009.

Youngstown bishop George Murray said in Jan. 2013 that the diocese settled because they believed the allegations against Baker to be credible.

    St. Mary's Middle School

Warren

Baker has been accused of abusing students at St. Mary's.

OH   St. Mary's was a "feeder" school for JFK High School.

1992

Altoona-Johnstown bishop was Joseph Victor Adamec (1987-2011)

2000

Bishop McCort High School

Johnstown

When news of the allegations against Baker broke in Jan. 2013, former McCort students began to surface with their own accounts of abuse by Baker in the 1990s-more than 15 by Jan. 19. Again, the former students said Baker would have them strip naked in the athletic training room, and proceed to massage them, genitals included. There were also reports of Baker groping students during religion class.

In a March 2013 lawsuit a woman accused Baker of sexually abusing her when she was a Bishop McCort student. She said the abuse began when she was 15 years-old and that that Baker sexually abused other female McCort athletes and cheerleaders.

PA religion teacher, sports trainer, baseball coach

McCort High School had 545-473 students.

Per Rev. Patrick Quinn, T.O.R.,Provincial Superior of the Province of the Immaculate Conception in 2013, Baker was removed from ministry in 2000 after an allegation stemming from the 1980s surfaced. Baker's accuser sued, received a settlement in 2002, and was required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

The Altoona-Johnstown diocese issued a statement in Jan. 2013 that it learned of allegations against Baker in November 2011.

1993 2000 St. Anthony's (Italian) Johnstown PA   St. Anthony's had a CCD program.
2000 2003 St. Bernardine Monastery Newry PA    
2003 2010 St. Joseph Friary Hollidaysburg PA    
2007 2011 Mount Aloysius College Cresson PA volunteer baseball scorekeeper Mount Aloysius College officals stated in Feb. 2013 that they were not told that Baker was the subject of allegations of sexual abuse.
2010 2011 St. Joseph Friary Hollidaysburg PA  

Baker is not listed in the 2011 Directory as at any of the Altoona diocese's T.O.R. monasteries.

Baker may have had access to children through the late 2000s.

 

Adamec was succeeded as Altoona-Johnstown bishop by Mark Leonard Bartchak (2011-)

2013 St. Bernardine Monastery

Newry

Allegations have emerged stemming from Baker's time here.

 

PA  

JFK High, the Youngstown diocese, and the T.O.R. Franciscans settled with 11 of Baker's accusers in 2012.

By Jan. 27, 2013 about 60 former JFK and McCort students had come forward with allegations of sexual abuse by Baker. By Jan 31, 2013 more than 80 had come forward. Some of them stated they believed there were dozens and possibly hundreds of students victimized by Baker.

Baker took his own life Jan. 26, 2013.

 

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1992-2011)

Update: Former JFK Coach, Teacher Abused Teens As Many As 25 Times, Fox Youngstown, January 16, 2013
Catholic School Coach, Teacher Sexually Abused As Many As 25 Students, Norwalk Reflector, January 16, 2013
Clock Expired on Criminal Charges in JFK Abuse Case, The WKBN, January 16, 2013
Teacher Allegedly Sexually Abused 11 Boys, By Aaron Cheslock, WeAreCentralPA, January 17, 2013
Attorney: JFK Case Began Two Years Ago, By Joe Gorman, Tribune Chronicle, January 17, 2013
Warren JFK Settles with 11 Men over Sex Abuse, By Ed Runyan, Youngstown Vindicator, January 17, 2013
11 Former JFK Students Receive Financial Settlements from Alleged Sexual Abuse, By Michelle Nicks, WFMJ, January 17, 2013
Baker Worked at Other Schools, Tribune Chronicle, January 17, 2013
Blair County Clergy Accused of Child Sexual Abuse in Ohio, By Stef Davis, WJAC, January 17, 2013
Five More Former JFK Students Claim Sexual Abuse, WKBN, January 17, 2013
Ex-coach Accused of Abuse, By Sandra K Reabuck, The Tribune-Democrat, January 18, 2013
Johnstown Attorney Investigating Abuse Claims, By Michelle Ganassi, Daily American, January 18, 2013
Franciscan Brother Linked to Ohio Sex Abuse Settlements Now Eyed for Time at Pa. High School, The Republic, January 18, 2013
Altoona-johnstown Diocese: Allegations against Bishop Mccort Trainer Surfaced in 2011, WJAC, January 18, 2013
Former Bishop Mccort Students Allege Sexual Abuse, WYTV, January 18, 2013
Five More Former JFK Students Claim Sexual Abuse, Fox Youngstown, January 18, 2013
Franciscan Brother Accused of Sex Abuse Previously Coached in Johnstown, WJAC, January 18, 2013
Settlement Not Coming from Donors, Tribune Chronicle, January 18, 2013
Five More Claim Abuse at JFK, Tribune Chronicle, January 18, 2013
Diocese Responds to Inaccurate Story in Tribune Chronicle, Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, January 18, 2013
Diocese: Friar Accused in 2011, By Russ O’Reilly, Altoona Mirror, January 18, 2013
At Least 35 Alleged Abuse Victims Have Come Forward, WKBN, January 19, 2013
Barryboys.org, Jan. 2013
Victims' Advocate Speaks: Clergy Abuse Allegations Arise at Bishop McCort, By Ruth Rice, The Tribune-Democrat, January 19, 2013
Friar Faces New Abuse Allegations, By Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat, January 19, 2013
More Bishop Mccort Students Come Forward, Alleging Abuse by Friar, By Maria Miller, WJAC, January 19, 2013
Boston Attorney Questions What Diocese Knew of Friar, By Maria Miller, WJAC, January 19, 2013
Ohio, Pa. Victims Urged to Seek Support, Youngstown Vindicator, January 20, 2013
No Evidence to Show Former McCort Trainer Was Certified, The WJAC, January 21, 2013
McCort Graduates Had Suspicions against Former Teacher, By Maria Miller, WJAC, January 23, 2013
Murry Apologizes for Friar Abuse Allegations, WYTV, January 24, 2013
Where’s He Been?: SNAP Traces Path of Accused Friar, By Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat, January 24, 2013
Bishop Vows to Protect Children from Sexual Abuse, Youngstown Vindicator, January 24, 2013
Bishop Speaks out about JFK, Tribune Chronicle, January 24, 2013
Bishop Addresses Slew of Accusations, WFMJ, January 24, 2013
Oh - SNAP Blasts Bishop Murry’s Excuses on Br. Baker, By David Clohessy, SNAP, January 24, 2013
Claims of Abuse by Baker Rising, By Russ O’Reilly, Altoona Mirror, January 25, 2013
Bishop Pledges Transparency about Sexual Abuse Allegations, By Ashley Luthern, Youngstown Vindicator, January 25, 2013
Bishop Mccort Launches Investigation, By Patrick Raggett, Daily American, January 25, 2013
Victims Urged to Come Forward, By Joe Gorman, Tribune Chronicle, January 25, 2013
Lawsuits Likely: Attorney for Alleged Victims Files Notice, By Sandra K Reabuck, The Tribune-Democrat, January 25, 2013
Pa. Attorney to Sue Youngstown Diocese over Abuse, WKBN, January 25, 2013
Brother Stephen Baker Commits Suicide, Franciscan Friar Accused of Sexual Abuse in 2 States, By Ron Todt, Huffington Post, January 26, 2013
Update | Diocese: Accused Sexual Abuser Baker Is Dead, Youngstown Vindicator, January 26, 2013
Brother Baker Death Ruled a Suicide UPDATE: 6:30 P.M., By Russ Oreilly, The Altoona Mirror, January 26, 2013
Sex-Abuse Accuser from Cortland Reacts to Franciscan Brother's Death, Youngstown Vindicator, January 26, 2013
Statement of Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. ..., Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, January 26, 2013
Death of Friar Accused in Sexual Abuse Cases Confirmed As Suicide, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 26, 2013
New: Franciscan Brother Found Dead, By Patrick Buchnowski, Tribune-Democrat, January 26, 2013
Friar Accused in Abuse Cases Found Dead at Pa. Monastery, CBS Pittsburgh, January 26, 2013
Sat. 4:38pm Update 4: Baker's Death Ruled a Suicide, Tribune Chronicle, January 26, 2013
Case Revives Pain of Prior Victims, By Kathy Mellott, Tribue-Democrat, January 26, 2013
Alleged Abuser, Brother Baker, Commits Suicide, Fox Youngstown, January 27, 2013
Baker Takes His Own Life, By Russ Oreilly, The Altoona Mirror, January 27, 2013
What Suicide Means for Abuse Cases, By Kathy Mellott, Tribune-Democrat, January 27, 2013
Brother Stephen Baker Suicide Note: 'I'm Sorry for What I Did to the Church', Youngstown Vindicator, January 28, 2013
Coroner: Friar Died from Heart Wound, The Tribune-Democrat , January 28, 2013
Friar's Suicide Challenging for Victims, Not for Impending Legal Cases, By Maria Miller, The WJAC, January 28, 2013
Pa - Abusive Priest Also Worked in Two More States, By David Clohessy, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, January 30, 2013
Mi - Serial Predator Priest Worked near Detroit, By David Clohessy, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, January 30, 2013
Mi - Letter to Archbishop Vigneron, By David Clohessy, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, January 30, 2013
Detroit Archdiocese Urged to Investigate Priest Who Killed Self after Abuse Allegation, By Oralandar Brand-Williams , The Detroit News, January 31, 2013
Victim Support Group Says Brother Baker Also Worked in Michigan, Youngstown Vindicator, January 30, 2013
Dead Catholic Priest Accused of Molesting Students Taught in Metro Detroit, Victim's Group Says, By Patricia Montemurri, Detroit Free Press, January 30, 2013
Probe of Abuse Not Over, DA Says: Adults Who Were Aware Could Face Consequences, By Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat, January 30, 2013
New Details Surface in Cleric's Past, By Maria Miller, WJAC, January 30, 2013
Detroit Archdiocese Urged to Investigate Priest Who Killed Self after Abuse Allegation, By Oralandar Brand-Williams , The Detroit News, January 31, 2013
Late Friar Accused of Sexual Abuse Once Worked in Orchard Lake, By Taryn Asher, My Fox Detroit, January 31, 2013
Advocates: Baker Worked in Mich., Va., before Warren, WKBN, January 31, 2013
Diocese Gets Lawsuit Letter, By Virginia Shank, Tribune Chronicle, January 31, 2013
Group: Brother Baker Also Served in Mich., Youngstown Vindicator, January 31, 2013
Archdiocese Says It Doesn't Have Abuse Complaints against Friar Who Taught at St. Mary's Prep, By Patricia Montemurri, Desert Sun, January 31, 2013
Former Orchard Lake Schools Friar Accused of Molestation Left Apology Note after Suicide, By Carol Hopkins, Oakland Press, January 31, 2013
Detroit Diocese: No Abuse Claims, By Tribune Chronicle, Virginia Shank, February 1, 2013
Minn. Man Won Settlement for Friar Abuse in 2005, By Adam Ferrise, WKBN, February 2, 2013
Local Men Claim Abuse by Late Friar, By Jeff Kranitz, My Fox Detroit, February 3, 2013
Advocate: Mom to Speak out about Suicide, Friar, Tribune Chronicle, February 4, 2013
Bishop Murry Seeks Tips on Friar's Alleged Abuse, WFMJ, February 4, 2013
Mom Blames Son's Suicide on Alleged Abuse by Friar, WKBN, February 4, 2013
Serial Predator Cleric Abused in MN, By David Clohessy, SNAP, February 5, 2013
Inver Grove Heights: after Cleric's Suicide, Sexual Abuse Victim Steps Forward, By Emily Gurnon, Pioneer Press, February 6, 2013
SNAP to Church Officials: How Many More Victims?, By Bob Schwiderski, SNAP, February 6, 2013
Franciscan Friar who Abused Boy in Inver Grove Heights Commits Suicide, By Zac Farber, The Patch, February 7, 2013
Friar Volunteered at Mount Aloysius: College Officials: No Reports of Abuse, The Tribune-Democrat, February 9, 2013
Priest Abuse Survivors Rally, WRVA, February 11, 2013
Fourth Alleged Victim in Bishop McCort Case Comes Forward, By Kathy Mellott, Tribune-Democrat, February 13, 2013
Accused Friar's History Examined, By Kathy Mellott, Tribune-Democrat, February 17, 2013
Diocese of Youngstown Attemps to Contact All Who Were Students at JFK High School in Warren during Brother Baker's Tenur, Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngtown, February 19, 2013
Number of Alleged Br. Baker Abuse Victims around 65, The WKBN, February 24, 2013
Dozens More in Pa., Ohio Claim Abuse by Friar, KVUE, February 24, 2013
65 Claiming Abuse by Baker, Advocate Said, By Virginia Shank, Tribune Chronicle, February 25, 2013
Fifty More Accuse Friar of Abuse, Group Says, By Jordan Cohen, Youngstown Vindicator, February 25, 2013
Another Lawsuit Filed against Catholic Leaders for Baker Sex Abuse, By Adam Ferrise, Fox Youngstown, February 25, 2013
Former St. Mary's Orchard Lake Schools Students Come Forward, Say They Were Molested, By Carol Hopkins, Daily Tribune
February 25, 2013
Youngstown Diocese Says Nobody Is Reporting Abuse to It, By Ed Runyan, Vindicator, February 26, 2013
Suits Might Target Diocese in Baker Case, By Phil Ray, The Altoona Mirror, February 26, 2013
Former McCort Students Allege Abuse, Plan Lawsuits, By Kathy Mellott, Tribune-Democrat, February 26, 2013
Attorneys Teaming up in Lawsuit against Catholic Leaders, WYTV, February 28, 2013
More Alleged Cleric Abuse Victims Emerge, By Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat, February 28, 2013
Two More Notices in Baker Case, By Phil Ray, Tribune Chronicle, March 1, 2013
Bishop McCort Principal Removed, WJAC TV, March 1, 2013
Ken Salem on Leave at McCort, By Dave Sutor, Tribune-Democrat, March 1, 2013
Parents React to Principal's Dismissal, By Aaron Cheslock, WTAJ, March 1, 2013
ABC 23 News Update, March 1, 2013
Friar Accused of Molestation Taught in Norfolk, By Bill Sizemore, The Virginian-Pilot, March 4, 2013
McCort Faces Tough Questions Amid Scandal, By Kathy Mellott, Tribune-Democrat, March 10, 2013
Youngstown Diocese Says 2 JFK Alumni Alleging Abuse, Vindicator, March 14, 2013
Attorney: Brother Baker Also Abused Female Students, By Adam Ferrise, WYTV, March 20, 2013
Attorney: Baker Abused Girls Too, By Aaron Cheslock, Wearecentralpa, March 20, 2013
Another Claim Filed in Baker Case, Altoona Mirror, March 21, 2013
Baker Probe Ongoing, By Russ O' Reilly, Altoona Mirror, March 21, 2013
Bishop Mccort Scandal: Former Female Student Alleges Abuse, By Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat, March 21, 2013
Attorney: Adults drunk with Power, Enabled Abuse, By Russ O' Reilly, Altoona Mirror, March 22, 2013
Sex Abuse by Orchard Lake Friar First Reported in 1985, Dad of Alleged Victim Says, By Patricia Montemurri, Detroit Free Press, March 27, 2013
Altoona-Johnstown Diocese Launches Abuse Investigation, By Randy Griffith, Tribune-Democrat, April 15, 2013
Central Pa. Diocese Investigating Dead Friar, San Francisco Chronicle, April 16, 2013
McCort Probe Widens, By Randy Griffith, The Tribune-Democrat, April 26, 2013
Salem Says He's Stepping Away from Bishop McCort, The Tribune-Democrat, June 5, 2013
McCort Facing New Suit: Former Student Alleges Abuse, By Randy Griffith, The Tribune-Democrat, July 17, 2013
Cleric Sex Abuse Case Update, ABC 23, July 19, 2013
New Friar Abuse Suit Coming, By Phil Ray, Altoona Mirror, July 19, 2013
Judge to Attorney: File Complaints in Abuse Cases Within 30 Days, By Phil Ray, Altoona Mirror, October 5, 2013
McCort Abuse Suit, Fox 8, October 5, 2013
Abuse Deals near, By Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat, October 11, 2013
Negotiations Continue with Friar's Alleged Victims, WJAC, October 11, 2013
Cleric Sex Allegations, ABC 23, October 12, 2013
Diocese Working toward Resolving Suspected Abuse Claims, By Kay Stephens, Altoona Mirror, October 12, 2013
Another Man Says Friar Sexually Abused Him, WJAC, October 17, 2013
McCort Search for Principal Moving Ahead, By Kelly Urban, The Tribune-Democrat, October 19, 2013
McCort Seeks Info on Alleged Victims, By Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat, October 31, 2013
Abuse Claims Deadline Extended, By Phil Ray, Altoona Mirror, October 31, 2013
Lawyer Gets 6 Months to File Pa. Abuse Suits, San Francisco Chronicle, October 31, 2013
Extension Granted for Lawsuits in Friar's Sex-abuse Case, WJAC, October 31, 2013
Attorney General May Continue Mccort Abuse Investigation, By Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat, November 2, 2013
DA: McCort Abuse Scandal Report to Be Handed to State Investigators, WJAC, November 2, 2013
McCort Case in Limbo, By Kathy Mellott, The Tribune-Democrat, November 2, 2013




Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Baker's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on November 19, 2013.