Abuse case: 'crap' sentences imposed on two Catholic friars

Abuse case: 'crap' sentences imposed on two Catholic friars May 9, 2018

Pennsylvanian Franciscan friars Robert D’Aversa, 70, left, and Anthony Criscitelli, 63, have each been fined $1,000 and given five year periods of probation for enabling a paedophile priest.
According to this report, Shaun Dougherty, a local victims’ advocate, described the sentences as “crap”.

On one side of it, I’m happy to see that we’re putting a close to this. It’s another case on record, showing the church’s guilt on this.

But he insisted the sentences were “crap” because:

They got away with a lot, and it’s costing people their lives.

Both friars pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children, a first-degree misdemeanor, in a case stemming from sexual abuse committed by Brother Stephen Baker, above, who was under their supervision at the Third Order Regular, Province of the Immaculate Conception.
D’Aversa and Criscitelli gave Baker assignments that gave him access to children even after there was clear evidence that he presented a danger as a sexual predator.
The trial of the two came about as part of an investigation by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General into what was described as a decades-long cover-up by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown to protect religious leaders accused of sexually abusing children.
Settlements have been reached with more than 90 of Baker’s victims from his time at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown where he officially served from 1992-2000 and had unofficial access afterward.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a press release:

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.
They chose time and time again to prioritize their institution’s reputation over the safety of victims. I won’t stand for that in any institution – and any person who fails to protect and safeguard children in their care will answer to me.

Shapiro said the friars, who, in their roles as minister provincial, had the ability to give Baker whatever assignments they chose, were the first religious order members in Pennsylvania to be sentenced for protecting clergy who abused children.
Shapiro said the conviction shows that, in Pennsylvania, enablers:

Will be held accountable for covering up rampant sexual abuse of children.

Mitchell Garabedian, one of the nation’s leading attorneys for victims of sexual abuse who represented dozens of Baker’s accusers, commended Shapiro for:

Bringing these two friars to justice. Victims of Brother Stephen Baker should be proud of coming forward and reporting their sexual abuse. If they had not done so, Attorney General Shapiro would not have had a foundation to build his case.

Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva sentenced both to the maximum period of probation – five years and fined them $1,000 apiece and costs of prosecution.

Baker, in January 2013, committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart shortly after word of his abuse became publicly known.
He also abused children in Ohio, Minnesota and Michigan before coming to Pennsylvania.


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  • L.Long

    And still so many are catlicks that still send their kids to be cared for by the same organization!

  • Robster

    Round the lot of them (the Catholic clergies) up, tempt them with sordid photos of under eleven year old boys, if even a half woodie emerges, off to the overcrowded clergy wing at the penitentiary. Might be a good idea, while they’re at it to do the same with the other versions clergies too.

  • Terry

    As far as I can tell, even though the guilty and those that protect them express contrition, they do not care about the victims at all. The most important thing to them, the only important thing to them is the protection of the RCC. There are those who have gone into print and asserted that the RCC priesthood view children as their well deserved outlet for their sexual urges. They view children as their sex toys.

  • Terry

    And the root of all this RCC child rape is the horrid notion of CELIBACY.
    It is near impossible to be celibate. And onanism in private is not enough for many.
    So the priests turn to pedophilia and threats of hell fire damnation if the kids dare to tell.
    And of course this ready access to children is a real attraction to those inclined to pedophilia in the first place. Become an RCC priest and you can get kids galore and a once perfect camouflage behind which to operate.
    Well the camouflage is now ripped to shreds and high time.
    People must now admit that the RCC is the biggest global crime syndicate in the world. Name the crime and the RCC is guilty of it.

  • Broga

    Another pair of plump, smug priests from Central Casting. They seem to have an endless supply.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    While the sentences may be crap, at least a start is finally being made prosecuting not only the perpetrators but also the enablers. Let’s hope more cases like this are heard, with harsher sentences being meted out. Who knows, the churches might get the message in the end.

  • AgentCormac

    Not good enough. They should have been locked away for years.

  • John the Drunkard

    Around 1960, the head of the ‘Servants of the Paraclete’ organization (a ‘treatment center’ for drunk or perverted priests) warned the Church that paedophiles had no sense of remorse, rationalized their behavior, and were guaranteed to re-offend.
    He was, of course, ignored.