Defrocked LA priest to face new sexual abuse charges
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Investigators have identified asecond man molested as a child by a now-defrocked Catholic priest, andadditional charges will be filed this week, a prosecutor said in courtTuesday.
MichaelStephen Baker, 58, has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing a boywhile the priest was living at a rectory. Prosecutors contend hemolested the boy for more than a decade until 1995, beginning when hewas 7.
The Los Angeles County prosecutor's office investigatedand determined that a second victim was involved, Deputy DistrictAttorney Marc Beaart said in Superior Court.
Outside court, Beaart declined to provide details but said the accuser did not come forward voluntarily.
Defenseattorney Donald H. Steier said he was told the suspected molestationoccurred in the 1990s, when the man was a teenager, but he did not haveother details.
A date to set a preliminary hearing was postponedto Dec. 20, when Baker will be arraigned on the new charges. A judgethen will decide whether there is enough evidence for Baker to standtrial.
Baker was arrested in January when he returned from avacation in Thailand. He could face six years in state prison ifconvicted.
Six years ago, two brothers alleged that Bakermolested them for a decade. Baker was removed from the ministry andeventually the archdiocese.
Baker's case is the latest involvingallegations of clergy abuse that have tarnished the reputation of theLos Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese, the nation's largest. On Dec.1, the archdiocese said it would pay $60 million to settle 45 lawsuitsby people who claimed they were abused by priests, but as many as 485suits are still pending.
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