Friar accused of sex abuse in US commits suicide
A Franciscan friar accused of sexually abusing male high school students in Pennsylvania committed suicide in the monastery where he had been kept under strict surveillance since 2000, police said.
According to the autopsy, Brother Stephen P. Baker, 62, died from a self-inflicted knife wound, the Blair Township chief of police, Roger White, said in a written statement Saturday.
Baker, who was confined to St. Bernardine Monastery in the city of Hollidaysburg, had been accused of sexually abusing male students between the ages of 14 and 18 when he worked as a religion teacher and sports coach at two Catholic high schools in the Pennsylvania cities of Warren and Johnstown.
The friar's name appeared in separate legal agreements reached last week with 11 men who alleged that Baker abused them sexually some 30 years ago.
Television channel WKBN reported that around 60 people said they had been victims of Brother Baker when he was working at the two Catholic high schools, according to attorneys on the case.