Trial date moved again for Waterford priest charged with child rape

Trial date moved again for Waterford priest charged with child rape
By Aileen Wingblad February 7, 2020
https://www.theoaklandpress.com/news/copscourts/trial-date-moved-again-for-waterford-priest-charged-with-child/article_b46bb57c-4900-11ea-bf66-a35ee4015e65.html

Father Joseph "Jack" Baker charged with first-degree criminal conduct-sexual penetration with a person less than 13 years old in the storage room of St. Mary Catholic Church in Wayne Michigan.
Father Joseph “Jack” Baker charged with first-degree criminal conduct-sexual penetration with a person less than 13 years old in the storage room of St. Mary Catholic Church in Wayne Michigan.

A trial date has again changed for the pastor of St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford, accused of raping a young boy in 2004.

Jury selection in Wayne County Circuit Court has been moved from the previously scheduled Feb. 10 to April 27 for the case against Father Joseph “Jack” Baker, charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct-sexual penetration with a person less than 13 years old.

The victim, now age 23, claims Baker sexually assaulted him in a storage room of St. Mary Catholic Church in Wayne, when he was a second-grader at the parish school. The Oakland Press is not identifying the alleged victim due to the nature of the offense.

Baker, 57, is currently suspended from his duties as pastor of St. Perpetua Parish and all public ministry, as ordered by the Archdiocese of Detroit.

The alleged victim has said he first disclosed the alleged rape to his girlfriend in 2018, and then his father. He was subsequently interviewed by Special Agent David Dwyre, who’s involved in investigating allegations of clergy abuse for the Michigan Attorney General’s office.

Baker is wearing an electronic tether and has a $500,000 personal bond, which doesn’t require bail to be posted.

Former Sacred Heart priest accused of sexually abusing a minor

Former Sacred Heart priest accused of sexually abusing a minor
By Dave Herndon on June 20, 2019
https://www.theoaklandpress.com/news/former-sacred-heart-priest-accused-of-sexually-abusing-a-minor/article_2655fab3-bfed-5098-876b-69dce84dd2dc.html

The Archdiocese of Detroit has turned over information on one of its pastors to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office after learning of an allegation of sexual assault against him.

According to the Archdiocese, the Rev. Joseph (Jack) Baker is accused of assaulting a minor in the “earlier” years of his career.

Most recently, Baker was pastor of St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford, where he’s served since 2008. Early in his career, Baker served for two years from 1996-97 as an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn.

The Archdiocese did not release when the accusations actually occurred.

Due to the nature of the accusations, Baker, 57, has been suspended from all public ministry pending the outcome of an investigation.

While restricted from ministry, he is prohibited from representing himself as a priest, wearing clerical attire or exercising any form of church ministry. Like any cleric restricted from ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit, he is monitored to ensure compliance with church restrictions.

The Attorney General’s office told the Archdiocese to proceed with its own investigation, as well.

Church Law, or Canon, is completely separate from any possible criminal charges.

Baker started his career in 1993 as an associate pastor at St. Hugo of the Hills in Bloomfield Hills. While in Dearborn, he also served as the Wayne State University campus minister.

He also served as a pastor at St. Mary’s in Wayne from 1997-2008, as the administrator of the Kevin and Norbert Parish in Inkster from 2003-04, and in the same position at Holy Family Parish, also in Inkster from 2003-08. He’s been in his current position since 2008, but also served as the St. Benedict Parish administrator in 2011.

Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit Gerard Battersby has been named temporary administrator of St. Perpetua.

The church said anyone with information on the alleged crime should reach out to local law enforcement, or call the Attorney General’s Office at 844-324-3374. Information also can be reported to aginvestigations@michigan.gov or to the church at vac@aod.org.

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