LANSING — Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the arrest of Father Joseph (Jack) Baker on Monday morning in Wayne County. Baker was charged with criminal sexual conduct as part of her ongoing investigation into clergy abuse within the Catholic Church.
He will be arraigned in the 29th District Court in Wayne.
He was charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct first degree, sexual penetration with a person under 13.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Nessel said. “Our clergy abuse investigative team is working day and night to review the hundreds of thousands of pages of documents and files seized from all seven of Michigan’s dioceses last fall. At the same time, we continue to receive calls daily from victims who know we will listen to them, believe in them and investigate their allegations. They deserve nothing less than our very best.”
Baker has been a pastor at St. Perpetua Parish in Waterford since 2008. He was previously 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 charge is the result of a tip from the Archdiocese of Detroit, which received an original report and immediately reached out to the lead prosecutor on Nessel’s clergy abuse team.
Baker has been restricted from all public ministry pending the outcome of the canonical process. He is prohibited from representing himself as a priest, wearing clerical attire or exercising any form of church ministry, a press release from Nessel said.
The announcement follows the attorney general’s May 24 announcement that five former priests had been charged with 21 counts of criminal sexual conduct.
The men are: Timothy Michael Crowley, Neil Kalina, Vincent DeLorenzo, Patrick Casey and Jacob Vellian, who currently lives in India.
Photos were not provided by the attorney general’s office.