More victims of former Warren JFK priest settle for $8M


Staff and wire report

PITTSBURGH

Attorneys for about half of the 88 former students sexually abused by a Franciscan friar, who worked as a teacher and athletic trainer at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown, Pa., say the students’ claims have settled for $8 million.

Altoona attorney Richard Serbin represents 13 former students at the school, and Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian represents 33. The students said they were abused by Brother Stephen Baker, who worked at the school, 60 miles east of Pittsburgh, from 1992 to 2001.

Baker, 62, committed suicide in January 2013 by stabbing himself shortly after two former Warren John F. Kennedy students and Garabedian disclosed that 11 former Kennedy students had reached a settlement with that school, the Diocese of Youngstown and the religious order under which Baker served, the Franciscan Third Order Regular. The newest settlement involved the Diocese of Youngstown as well.

The Warren revelations prompted many of the alleged McCort victims to come forward.

Serbin has been pursuing clergy-abuse claims for nearly 30 years but said, “What’s unique here is the sheer number of students that were abused.”

Read more of the settlement and the scandal in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.

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