This article contains graphic descriptions of sexual abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A former Michigan priest is headed to prison after being convicted of sexually abusing a minor.

Joseph “Jack” Baker, 61, was convicted in October 2022 of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. This charge is used when the victim is under 13.

Baker will spend three to 15 years in prison and must register as a sex offender for life.

He had previously been a pastor at St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford since 2008. He also served as a pastor at St. Mary Parish in Wayne, as associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn and as an associate pastor at St. Hugo of the Hills in Bloomfield Hills.

“My department’s clergy abuse investigation team has worked tirelessly on behalf of survivors in this state to ensure that reported cases of sexual abuse or assault are thoroughly reviewed,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “We are grateful to have obtained some measure of justice on this matter and many others, further breaking down the walls of silence which often surround sexual assault and abuse.” 

Since 2018, the Michigan Department of the Attorney General has seized 1.5 million paper documents and 3.5 million electronic documents as part of its clergy abuse investigation.

This investigation lead to charges being filed against 11 people with ties to the Catholic Church.