Abuse case against friar to go on despite suicide

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An attorney representing some of the former students alleging abuse by a Franciscan friar at a Cambria County high school said the civil case will proceed despite the friar's suicide at a monastery over the weekend.

Police in Blair Township said Brother Stephen Baker was found dead of a self-inflicted knife wound at the St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg on Saturday. He had been named in legal settlements involving abuse allegations in Ohio decades ago and allegations have also surfaced of abuse at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown in the 1990s.

Attorney Michael Parrish Jr. of Johnstown says he represents 20 former students who allege that Baker assaulted or molested them when he was Bishop McCort's athletic trainer. He said many expressed shock when told of the suicide.

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