AG Nessel: 6th Catholic priest arrested for sex crimes

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A sixth priest has been arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today as part of her department’s ongoing investigation into clergy abuse within the Catholic Church.

Father Joseph (Jack) Baker was arrested this morning in Wayne County by special agents from the Attorney General’s office. He will be arraigned today.

Baker was charged with one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree – sexual penetration with a person under 13. Baker has been a pastor at St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford, MI since 2008. Prior to that Baker was a pastor at St. Mary Parish in Wayne, associate pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn, and associate pastor at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills.

The charge is the result of a tip from the Archdiocese of Detroit, which reported it to the lead prosecutor on the Attorney General’s clergy abuse team.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Nessel.

The Archdiocese of Detroit announced Baker is prohibited from representing himself as a priest, wearing clerical attire or exercising any form of Church ministry.

Baker’s arrest follows Nessel’s May 24th announcement that five former priests had been charged with 21 counts of criminal sexual conduct.

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