At age five, 1954, "the Bishop" (Chicago's Cardinal Stritch) stood over me and said, I had to "stop babbling" about what the priest did to me. It took me 40 years to talk about it again. Today, I babble.

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Monday, July 06, 2009

New Michael Baker case moves forward, and missing Victim Impact Statement from sentencing hearing of the pedo-priest finally gets posted

By Kay Ebeling

Pedophile Priest Michael Baker is one of a thousand John Doe’s in a lawsuit now working its way through Judge Emilie Elias’ Court, filed in Los Angeles August 29, 2007. Four months later, the facts of this and one other case caused Baker to enter a plea that sent him to prison.

“My client is count 9 and counts 14 through 16 from Baker's sentencing hearing,” explained Vince Finaldi of Manly & Stewart in Newport Beach, who represent plaintiff “Luis C.”

Baker is serving eight and a half years, and was initially at Tahachapee, but in December 2008 he was transferred to Reception Central in Chino. There with 1400 medium/maximum custody level inmates, Baker is getting diagnostic tests and mental health screening, as the state tries to figure out where else it can place him.

When we covered Baker’s sentencing hearing here at City of Angels, I had just gotten a laptop and still approached the machine like the apes approach the obelisk in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Just as the first victim got up to speak, I hit a wrong key, and the laptop crashed. As I rebooted, Matt S finished his Victim Impact Statement, which was very powerful, and here I hadn't taken down one note. Worse yet, Matt then walked up to the reporter from the L.A. Times and handed him his only printed copy of the statement, which I knew meant it would never make it into print, and it didn't. I figured I’d never see the Matt S Victim Impact Statement about perpetrator priest Michael Stephen Baker again. Then there it was.

Two other cases are working their way through Elias’ court, including a jury trial on calendar October 19th. There is a hearing on demurrers for Luis C July 28th. City of Angels has been on a mission around the state gathering up documents for future stories. As we plowed through information about Luis C Versus Doe 1 through Doe 1000, Matt’s statement appeared.

Here is Victim Impact Statement of Matt S at the Sentencing Hearing of Michael Baker, December 3, 2007:



I can still remember the house

In 1976, Michael Baker entered my life. I was nine years old.

I can still remember the first time I met him at the house of some of my parents’ friends from church. He paid a lot of attention to me and the other young boys at the house. He tickled me. My mom took pictures of us together.

I can still remember the house.

His tickles felt different to me, the way he touched me, how his fingers went close to my groin. It made me uncomfortable but I didn't say anything about it. He was a priest, after all.

In the years following, Father Mike Baker became a fixture in our lives. My parents spent increasing time at the church doing special projects at the rectory and helping coordinate special events. As a result I started to spend more and more time with the priest who offered to babysit me while my parents were busy.

(Baker, pictured right, became like a fixture in Matt's family home)

Michael Baker began having me stay overnight at the rectory some time a year or two later. If I wore pajamas, he would tell me that I didn't need to wear anything to bed. But I wore them to bed anyway, because being naked with a priest seemed weird to me. But somehow he managed to take my pajamas off during the night.

He would stroke my body with his fingers and whisper things to me like, oh, Matt, how I love you. You're like the son of God to me.

I began staying overnight at the rectory every weekend or every other weekend and the touching and fondling soon escalated to French kissing, masturbation, and oral sex.

Baker would say, Oh, Matt, how I love you. You're like the son of God to me

Each night at the rectory was nightmarish and confusing. I never knew what I was supposed to do. Should I just go along with what he wanted? He was presenting everything to me as being so normal. Did other boys go through this, other altar boys? I wasn’t sure. I felt ashamed and I felt trapped.

I tried to tell my mother that he was touching my penis and being too touchy feely with me, but she was able to rationalize his behavior. That's just his way of telling you that he loves you, she said.

Every time I tried to say something, it was turned around, as if it was I who had the problem,. That I was misconstruing his actions or that I was overly sensitive. It’s obvious to me that she was too wrapped up into him and in a major state of denial. I resisted mom’s attempts for me to spend time with him, but she was caught in his grip, and she was being manipulated by baker to get to me. I resisted my mom’s attempts for me to spend time with him, but she was caught in his grip and she was being manipulated by Baker to get to me.

If I resisted Father Mike’s physical advances to me in bed, the next morning he would act sullen and grumpy and when he was with my mom he would tell her that I was really not very nice or receptive to him and she in turn would rage at me. I felt trapped in an alternate universe of fear and silence. My life was increasingly stressful and fraught and I soon began to pull at the seams by leading this double life.

I resisted mom’s attempts for me to spend time with him, but she was caught in his grip

During the weekdays I was maintaining the appearance of an average school kid. But at home and on the weekends I felt like a prostitute. Sometimes on Sunday morning I would wake up as Baker was showering, getting ready to say the Ten AM Mass, and there would be a twenty dollar bill on the pillow next to me.

When I was in junior high, my mom took me to get a haircut, and the hairdresser was shocked when my hair started falling out in clumps. The concerned hairdresser asked my mom if everything was all right, and if I was undergoing any stress or turmoil at home.

I was so mgsd and my mom seemed confounded on why this could be. And I said nothing.

My relationship with my parents became strained and soon my parents’ own relationship began to unravel. My dad felt alienated by my mother’s devotion to Father Mike and began a relationship with Michael Baker’s sister-in-law, who is now my stepmom.

My dad left unexpectedly one day while my mom and I were at church leaving only a note on the door as to the reasons why.

It was a terrible time in my life.

And, of course, my dad leaving only pulled my mother and I tighter within Father Mike’s grip.

My mom started to ask me to call Father Mike Dad.

My mom began relying on Father Mike for financial support and she continued to work at the Church. This forced me to basically exist like a ghost at the rectories where Father Mike worked.

My dad felt alienated by my mother’s devotion to Father Mike

I stayed many days at the Rectory in the quarters of the communal living area, watching horror movies.

I think that staying around the rectory on the weekend, after being sexually traumatized, only accelerated the effect of the molestation on me.

I was deprived ofmuch of my adolescence and the ability to mature and grow as a normal teenager. I was not able to put my heart in my class work, and my grades began to suffer. I started to become very depressed internally. I felt that I would never escape from this horrible situation.

During my senior year in high school I started to contemplate suicide, and at times suicide seemed to look like a viable option to the life I was living.

Some time in the beginning of 1986 towards the end of my senior year, I started actively pulling away from Baker. The lies and implications that Baker used to manipulate my mother were severely compromising my relationship with her.

Gradually after high school ended, I was able to distance myself enough from both of them so that most of the sexual contact stopped.

Over the years I put more and more distance between myself and Baker and my family, and I was able to make a semblance of a normal life for myself. But even as I was hundreds of miles away and the years began to pass since any of the actual molestation occurred, I was still under the impression that it was still somehow all my fault, and Father Mike was still sending me checks in the mail. For some reason this made me even feel more duplicitous and guilty.

Some time in the beginning of 1986 towards the end of my senior year, I started actively pulling away from Baker

And, of course, I didn't really know it at the time, but I was suffering the effects of severe post traumatic stress disorder.

In college I started experiencing panic and anxiety attacks. I had difficulty establishing trust within relationships and almost every aspect relating to my feelings about sex were completely messed up.

In fact, they still are.

In college I became addicted to drugs. I think in part to subconsciously deal with the pain that was still plaguing me. Along with the drugs and the drinking, I was drawn into increasingly anonymous and risky sexual behavior, and to this day I still suffer from nightmares as a result of Baker’s abuse.

Nowadays I have resigned myself to feeling that I’ll probably never fully comprehend the totality of the destructive impact that Michael Baker has had upon my life, but all that said, I am grateful to be here right now. Not everyone who has gone through an experience like this has had the same kind of advocacy as we did back in 2002, after the news broke about the Boston Archdiocese.

Supported bb my family, friends, and my partner Paul, I felt the courage to tell my story and not be afraid anymore. Though Baker is being sentenced today and will be going to prison, which I will accept as a symbolic memory for us, it is important to remember that Baker is only being arraigned on the crimes he committed against two of his victims.

There are dozens of other victims like myself whose crimes will never be held accountable for as a result of our country’s current statutes of limitations. (in most states)

I am grateful to be here right now. Not everyone who has gone through an experience like this has had the same kind of advocacy as we did back in 2002, after the news broke about Boston

If a criminal case were presented by all of his victims, Baker would never live another day outside of a prison cell again, it is no question to me. But instead he’s going to prison for a few years, and I'm sure that his going to prison as a sixty yar old convicted pedophile priest isn’t going to be any fun for him. As a result I feel vindicated for this five and a half year legal journey that I’ve been on. And I'm looking forward to moving on with my life. Words cannot express all that I feel right now. B ut I do know that this is a day I’ll never forget.

Thank you.


NEXT Story on the Luis C Case: Quotes from Second Amended Complaint filed against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Michael Baker, Roger Cardinal Mahony, The Servants of the Paracletes and close to a thousand other John Doe’s.

Also in the works, stories on the Church’s battle to get the California Supreme Court to stop anymore lawsuits in this state, PLUS more on the progress of Luis C, Saul R, and Julie C, whose case is on calendar for jury trial October 19, 2009.


For background on Pedophile Priest Michael Stephen Baker read:

Monday, December 3, 2007

‘You're not worth the spit on the sidewalk.’ Victims speak at Baker’s sentencing: For nine counts he gets ten years of which he'll serve two

By Kay Ebeling

Ex-priest Michael Baker did not seem like a guilty man facing a just penance as he sauntered out of court Monday afternoon. Several victims at his sentencing observed he looked more like a guy leaving a business meeting, a successful one. Baker shook hands “so long” with his attorneys and left court with a lilt in his gait. He was sentenced to


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Baker could be paroled Aug 2011, another early release, one of many patterns we see over and over in Sex Crimes in the Catholic Church
By Kay Ebeling

Michael Stephen Baker will be eligible for parole August 18, 2011. He’s at California Correctional Institution, Tahachapee, but is subject to transfer at any time, or he could stay there for the next three and a half years. Baker’s sentence December 3, 2007, was 8 and a half years.


Now that the Fourth of July holiday is over, City of Angels readers can roll over on the beach towel and start another summer read with Matt's above statement. As we plow through this stack of documents, if some of these victim stories seem repetitive, that's the point.

These priests committed similar crimes in city after city, following similar patterns - or Modus Operandi. Reactions of archdioceses and law enforcement have been the same in city after city, case after case. As we read these thousands of stories, the patterns of crime and collusion will reveal themselves.

And I got time to write them next 40 years or so.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

2 words on whom the real criminal is = ROGER MAHONY!
/abusetracker for daily verified & vetted reporting on the criminal curia.

The Solution? "STOP DONATING LAITY" as St. Peter Damien correctly aserted.