3 friars in Pennsylvania abuse case removed from duties

Giles A. Schinelli, Robert J. D'Aversa, and Anthony M. Criscitelli (Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General)

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) – Three Franciscan friars charged with allowing a suspected sexual predator to hold jobs where he molested more than 100 children in Pennsylvania have been removed from their religious assignments in Florida and Minnesota.

Friars Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli are scheduled to surrender on charges of child endangerment and conspiracy on Friday. They and Friar Giles Schinelli are accused of assigning or allowing Brother Stephen Baker to remain at Bishop McCort High School where he molested scores of students from 1992 to 2000. Baker killed himself in January 2013 when Ohio church officials announced settlements involving students molested there in the 1980s.

The Rev. Patrick Quinn, who heads the Franciscan monastery near Hollidaysburg, has removed Schinelli and D’Aversa from assignments in the Orlando, Florida diocese and Criscitelli from pastoring a parish in Minneapolis.

The friars haven’t commented.

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