Pennsylvania Franciscan Friars Face Child Endangerment Hearing

Three Franciscan friars face a hearing on charges they allowed a suspected sexual predator to teach at a Pennsylvania high school and hold other jobs where he molested more than 100 children.

Thursday's hearing will determine whether Robert D'Aversa, Anthony Criscitelli, and Giles Schinelli stand trial on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.

The three successively headed a Franciscan order in Pennsylvania from 1986 to 2010. They assigned and supervised the order's members, including Brother Stephen Baker. Authorities say Baker molested scores of children, most at a high school. Baker killed himself in 2013.

At the time they were charged, Schinelli was a pastoral administrator in Winter Park, Florida; D'Aversa was a pastor in Mount Dora, Florida; and Criscitelli was a pastor in Minneapolis.

Schinelli's lawyer says he'll plead not guilty. Lawyers for the other two haven't commented.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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