By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – A criminal sexual conduct conviction of former Catholic priest Joseph “Jack” Baker by a Wayne County jury was announced Oct. 13 by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Baker, who served as an associate pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Dearborn more than two decades ago, was convicted of criminal sexual conduct first degree – sexual penetration with a person under the age of 13 – in Wayne County Circuit Court.
The charges against Baker came about as the result of a tip from the Archdiocese of Detroit, which immediately forwarded the original report to the lead prosecutor on Nessel’s clergy abuse team.
After his conviction, Baker was remanded to the Wayne County Jail to await his Dec. 19 sentencing.
Nessel said she wants victims of abuse to know that they have an advocate in the Attorney General’s office.
“We are committed to ensuring that every case of sexual abuse and assault is thoroughly reviewed and that whenever we are able to pursue justice for a victim, we do so aggressively and relentlessly,” Nessel said. “We must all commit to breaking down the walls of silence that so often surround sexual assault and abuse. Today’s verdict is long-awaited justice.”
Baker served at St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford since 2008, and also as a pastor at St. Mary Parish in Wayne and as an associate pastor at St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills.