Dozens more in Pa., Ohio claim abuse by friar - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Dozens more in Pa., Ohio claim abuse by friar

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - About 50 more people have come forward to say they were sexually abused at Catholic schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio by a Franciscan brother who killed himself in January.

That's according to attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who settled 11 alleged abuse cases against the friar.

Brother Stephen Baker stabbed himself in the heart at a western Pennsylvania monastery on Jan. 26. His death came a little over a week after the disclosure of financial settlements in alleged abuse cases in Warren, Ohio. A coroner told the Altoona Mirror that Baker left a short note apologizing for his actions.

Attorney Garabedian says the new accusers have alleged in recent weeks that they were abused between 1982 and 2007. Some said Baker abused them even after he left teaching in 2000 when he would attend school events in Johnstown, Pa.

The latest allegations come from people in 12 states who went to school in Warren or were either middle school or high school students in Johnstown, where Baker taught and coached.

A spokesman for the victims' advocacy group SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says church officials failed to warn potential victims. SNAP national director David Clohessy says abuses would likely still be continuing had it not been for the bravery of accusers who have come forward.

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