Judge throws out charges vs. friar accused of abuse cover-up

FILE - This combination of file photos from March 18, 2016, shows Giles Schinelli, left, Anthony Criscitelli, center, and Robert D'Aversa, right, when the three Franciscan friars were arraigned on charges of child endangerment and criminal conspiracy at a district magistrate in Hollidaysburg, Pa. Blair County, Pa., Judge Jolene Kopriva scheduled a Thursday, April 27, 2017, hearing after attorneys for Schinelli, Criscitelli and D'Aversa asked for the dismissal of charges that the friars didn't properly supervise a suspected sexual predator accused of molesting more than 100 children, most at a Pennsylvania high school, the Altoona Mirror reported Thursday, April 20. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A judge has dismissed charges against one of three friars accused of improperly supervising a Franciscan brother who was accused of molesting more than 100 children, most at a Pennsylvania high school.

The judge found 74-year-old Anthony “Giles” Schinelli didn’t conspire to cover up abuse allegations. The judge also concluded the statute of limitations ran out on a child endangerment charge, because his supervision of the brother ended in 1994.

But the judge found evidence the other two friars supervising Brother Stephen Baker did conspire to cover up allegations before and during Baker’s tenure at Johnstown’s Bishop McCort Catholic High School in the 1990s. The judge found the statute of limitations didn’t expire in their cases because the alleged conspiracy lasted until 2010.

Baker killed himself in 2013, before church officials paid more than $8 million to settle claims by former McCort students.

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