Warren man abused by clergy at JFK urges others to come forward
Compiled from local and wire sources
An alleged victim of sexual abuse by a Franciscan brother at Warren JFK high school and the founder of a support group for such victims urged Pennsylvania and Ohio victims of the brother’s alleged abuse to come forward and get the help they need.
“We’d love for them to reach out and contact those of us who will support them,” said Robert M. Hoatson, co-founder and president of the Livingston, N.J.-based Road to Recovery Inc. support group.
Michael Munno of Cortland, who said Brother Stephen P. Baker sexually abused him at JFK, appeared with Hoatson at a Saturday morning news conference in front of Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, Pa.
Munno was one of 11 men who reached an out-of-court cash settlement with Warren JFK concerning sexual abuse they said they suffered as students there between 1986 and 1990 at the hands of Brother Baker, who was then a teacher, baseball coach and athletic trainer at JFK. Some of the abuse allegedly occurred during massages and whirlpool baths.
Similar accusations have been made concerning Brother Baker’s behavior toward students when he taught religion and served as a baseball team trainer at Bishop McCort in the late 1990s.
Hoatson said the victims in Warren and Johnstown “are to be congratulated for coming forward” and that Munno and the other victim who spoke at a Wednesday Newton Falls news conference were catalysts for others who have since come forward, acknowledged they were abused and sought support.
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