State prosecutors on Tuesday (Mar. 15) accused three former leaders of an Altoona-area (Pennsylvania) Franciscan order of enabling a friar to sexually abuse scores of children during years of work at a Catholic high school and in the community.
“The felony conspiracy and child endangerment charges against Giles A. Schinelli, 73, Robert J. D’Aversa, 69, and Anthony M. Criscitelli, 61, mark the second prong of a longstanding investigation by the Attorney General’s office into clergy sex abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown area.
“The three men served in succession as Minister Provincial of the Franciscan Friars, Third Order Regulars, Province of the Immaculate Conception based in Hollidaysburg, and were the supervisors for Brother Stephen Baker, who abused possitbly more than 100 children in Ohio and central Pennsylvania before committing suicide three years ago.
“Prosecutors said Baker was enabled by leaders who ‘engaged in efforts to protect the image and reputation of the Franciscan Friars rather than act in the best interests of the children served by their organization to whom they owed a duty of care,’ according to a presentment made public Tuesday (Mar. 15).”
By Maria Panaritis, Philly.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.