The trial is due to begin Oct. 3 for a Waterford Township priest accused of raping a young boy nearly two decades ago while assigned to a parish in Wayne County.
It’s been about three years since Father Joseph (Jack) Baker, 60, was charged with criminal sexual conduct in the first degree – sexual penetration with a person under the age of 13, which allegedly occurred in 2004 in a storage room in the Mary’s Catholic Church in Wayne. Baker was pastor of St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford when he was arrested and later suspended from his post there.
The trial had been scheduled a few times previously, but was postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions at the courthouse.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, which is pursuing the case in Wayne County Circuit Court, the charge resulted from a tip from the Archdiocese of Detroit, which received the original report and forwarded it to the prosecutor. principal of the Attorney General’s clergy abuse team.
During a preliminary examination in 2019, the alleged victim said the incident happened when he was in second grade at the parochial school. He said he was in the church’s storage room or sacristy when Baker sat him down and started talking to him, then put him on a table and raped him.
The Oakland Press is not identifying the alleged victim due to the nature of the offense.
Baker told him not to tell anyone what happened because it was wrong and a sin, he said. He also said that when he got home that day, he saw blood in his underpants, so he threw it away.
He first disclosed the alleged rape to his girlfriend in October 2018 and then to his father, he said. He was later interviewed by Special Agent David Dwyre, who is involved in the investigation of clergy abuse allegations for the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
A number of Baker supporters claimed the allegation was false.
Baker was ordained in 1993. In addition to serving at St. Mary and St. Perpetua, he is a former associate pastor at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills and Sacred Heart Parish in Dearborn. Baker also served as a trustee at St. Benedict in Waterford in 2011, a campus minister at Wayne State Medical School Campus Ministry, and a trustee of three churches in Inkster.
He is on bail and monitored by an electronic tether.