Dec 3, 2007

Michael S. Baker pleads guilty

The now-ex-priest Michael S. Baker, 59, at left in the Los Angeles Times photo above, pleaded guilty today to [homo]sexually abusing two altar boys, reports the Times online (click on this post's title).

A 10-year sentence is likely for him. Says the Times:

"For many, Baker came to symbolize the [C]hurch's failure in protecting its most vulnerable parishioners: He was a man who allegedly molested more than 20 youngsters in his 26 years as a priest and had confessed his problem to Cardinal Roger Mahony in 1986. Instead of alerting police, Mahony sent Baker to a treatment center in New Mexico and later reassigned him to serve at nine other parishes where he victimized other young boys.

"And, when authorities sought records from the [C]hurch to help build a case against Baker, church officials vigorously fought to keep that information secret...Among the more than 500 alleged victims and 200 clergy members accused of misconduct, Baker's case was the one Mahony has said 'troubles' him the most."


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