3 Franciscan friars surrender in child endangerment case

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 surrendered on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.

Robert D’Aversa, Anthony Criscitelli and Giles Schinelli have been filling out paperwork in advance of their arraignments Friday morning.

State prosecutors say Schinelli assigned Brother Stephen Baker to Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown where he molested students from 1992 to 2000.

D’Aversa and Criscitelli, who also headed Baker’s Franciscan order based near Hollidaysburg, are charged because they allegedly continued to allow Baker to teach or have access to the school and its students.

Baker killed himself in January 2013 when Ohio church officials announced he’d molested students there in the 1980s. That prompted the McCort victims to come forward.

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