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

Written by The Associated Press | Oct 24, 2017 3:09 PM
franciscan_friars_abuse.jpg

FILE PHOTO: This combination of file photos from March 18, 2016 shows Giles Schinelli, left, Anthony Criscitelli, center, and Robert D'Aversa, when they were arraigned on charges of child endangerment and criminal conspiracy at a district magistrate in Hollidaysburg. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)


(Hollidaysburg) -- 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.

An earlier story appears below. 

(Hollidaysburg) -- A judge has dismissed charges against one of three Franciscan friars accused of improperly supervising a man accused of molesting more than 100 children, most at a Pennsylvania high school.

The judge found the statute of limitations expired before child endangerment and conspiracy charges were filed last year against 74-year-old Anthony "Giles" Schinelli.

Schinelli was the first of three friars who either supervised or assigned duties to Brother Stephen Baker when he served at Johnstown's Bishop McCort Catholic High School in the 1990s.

The Altoona Mirror reported that charges against two other friars who supervised Baker after Schinelli will stand because the ages of his alleged victim still falls within the time limits defined by the law.

Baker killed himself in 2013, before church officials paid more than $8 million to settle claims against him.

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