Diocese taking precautions to protect children - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Diocese taking precautions to protect children


YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - The sex abuse case against a Franciscan friar will proceed despite his suicide.

That's what attorneys handling the case are saying.

Brother Stephen Baker was found dead from a self- inflicted knife wound Saturday.

At least 35 people claim they were sexually abused by Baker after a recent announcement that 11 victims received settlements in the case. T

hey had Baker as a coach when he taught at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School in the late 80s and early 90s.

Ten graduates of a Johnstown Catholic High School also claim they were victims of Baker.

Youngstown Diocese Bishop George Murry says every precaution is taken now to ensure children are safe.

"What I want to do is ensure that this does not happen again. That's why we are taking these steps with our safe programs and doing back ground checks and fingerprinting and make sure we don't have any one in our schools or in our parishes that has any background that would indicate there is a problem," Murry said. "I want our parents and the people of the Valley to know their children are safe in Catholic schools and Catholic parishes."

The schools in the Diocese also have a program for children that is incorporated into their curriculum so they're aware of good touches and bad touches, so they recognize if someone is being inappropriate and they know they should report it.

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