The Latest: 3 Franciscans in abuse scandal still at work

AP News
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Posted: Mar 15, 2016 1:46 PM

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on charges against leaders of a Franciscan religious order over an abusive friar.(all times local):

1:45 p.m.

Three ex-Franciscan leaders charged in a child sex-abuse scandal in Pennsylvania all still have pastoral duties with the Roman Catholic Church.

The three were accused Tuesday of taking part in a conspiracy that enabled a friar to molest more than 100 children.

Records show Giles Schinelli is pastoral administrator of the San Pedro Center in Winter Park, Florida. Robert D'Aversa is pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Community in Mount Dora, Florida. And Anthony Criscitelli is pastor of St. Bridget Parish Community in Minneapolis.

A message left for Schinelli at the retreat was not returned. People answering the phones at the churches where D'Aversa and Criscitelli work said they were either traveling or not available for comment.

The attorney general's office initially said erroneously that the three were retired.

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11 a.m.

A Franciscan religious order in Pennsylvania says it is "deeply saddened" to learn of criminal charges against three leaders who are accused of allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to have access to children.

Charges against the three, including child endangerment, were announced Tuesday by the state attorney general following a nearly two-year grand jury investigation.

The three were the successive leaders of a Franciscan order near Hollidaysburg from 1986 to 2010. All now live outside Pennsylvania.

The order issued a statement saying it cooperated with the investigation. It says it "extends its most sincere apologies to the victims and to the communities who have been harmed."

Brother Stephen Baker, who was accused of molesting children at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown and schools in Ohio. Baker killed himself in 2013.

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10:25 a.m.

A Pennsylvania grand jury has concluded that three former Franciscan leaders allowed a friar who was a known sexual predator to take jobs, including as a high school athletic trainer, that enabled him to molest more than 100 children.

Charges against the three, including child endangerment, were announced Tuesday by the state attorney general following a nearly two-year grand jury investigation.

The three were the successive leaders of a Franciscan order near Hollidaysburg from 1986 to 2010. All now live outside Pennsylvania.

They supervised Brother Stephen Baker, who was accused of molesting children at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown and schools in Ohio. Baker killed himself in 2013.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane says the Franciscan leaders knew Baker was a sexual predator but put him in positions that enabled him to molest children.