Bishop George V. Murry of the Diocese of Youngstown has sent a letter to approximately 1200 adults who were students at John F. Kennedy High School from January to June 1978 and August 1985 to January 1992, asking them to come forward if they have knowledge of abuse by Brother Stephen Baker or were abused themselves.
In January, the Third Order Regular Franciscans and The Diocese of Youngstown announced that Baker had been accused of sexual misconduct with minors. On January 26, 2013, Baker took his own life.
Baker was on loan to the Diocese of Youngstown to teach at John F. Kennedy High School and left the school at the end of the 1991-1992 school year.
“Writing to these former students is something we must do in the interest of achieving full justice,” Murry said. “Sexual abuse of minors is a terrible thing. It burdens us all with disappointment, sadness and deep hurt. For its victims, it can be devastating.”
Murry also has written to the eleven victims who recently came forward apologizing for Brother Bakers’ actions and offering to meet with them individually.
“The Diocese of Youngstown is doing all we can to ensure legal justice and personal peace for anyone who suffered abuse at the hands of Church personnel,” Murry said.