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Ex-Pastor Sentenced in Clergy Abuse Case

LANSING – A former Southeast Michigan priest was sentenced to 3-15 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections and lifetime sex offender registration today in Detroit’s 3rd Judicial Circuit Court, Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.  Joseph “Jack” Baker, 61, was convicted in October 2022 of Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree – sexual penetration with a person under 13.

“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,” 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.”

Baker had 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 Archdiocese of Detroit received the original report and immediately reported it to the lead prosecutor on AG Nessel’s clergy abuse team.

The Michigan Department of the Attorney General seized 1.5 million paper documents and 3.5 million electronic documents through search warrants executed in October 2018 as part of its clergy abuse investigation. The Department of Attorney General’s investigation has resulted in criminal charges filed against 11 individuals with ties to the Catholic Church and multiple convictions, including Baker.

To learn more about Nessel’s investigation into clergy abuse or to submit information, visit the Attorney General’s website. Information may also be provided by calling the investigation hotline at 844-324-3374 (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or by sending information by email.


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