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LANSING – A sixth priest was charged with criminal sexual conduct by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel as part of her department’s ongoing investigation into clergy abuse within the Catholic Church. Father Joseph (Jack) Baker was arrested this morning in Wayne County by special agents from the Attorney General’s office. He will be arraigned in the 29th District Court in Wayne, Michigan.
Baker was charged with one count of Criminal Sexual Conduct First Degree – sexual penetration with a person under 13. Baker has 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 charge is the result of a tip from the Archdiocese of Detroit, which received the original report and immediately reported it to the lead prosecutor on the Attorney General’s clergy abuse team.
“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.”
The Archdiocese of Detroit announced it had restricted Baker from all public ministry pending the outcome of the canonical process. According to a news release issued by the Diocese June 20th, Baker is prohibited from representing himself as a priest, wearing clerical attire or exercising any form of Church ministry.
Baker’s arrest follows Nessel’s May 24th announcement that five former priests had been charged with 21 counts of criminal sexual conduct. The men, who were all priests when the reported crimes were committed, are:
• Timothy Michael Crowley, charged in Washtenaw County with four felony counts of CSC 1 and four felony counts of CSC 2. Crowley was arraigned June 29 in Washtenaw County; a probable cause conference is scheduled for July 30.
• Neil Kalina, charged in Macomb County with four felony counts of CSC 2. Kalina was arraigned June 20 in Macomb County; a probable cause conference is scheduled for July 9.
• Vincent DeLorenzo, charged in Genesee County with three felony counts of CSC 1 and three felony counts of CSC 2. DeLorenzo was arraigned in Genesee County on June 18; his probable cause conference is scheduled for August 1. DeLorenzo is out on bond.
• Patrick Casey, charged in Wayne County with one felony county of CSC 3. Casey waived his preliminary exam and is scheduled for arraignment July 18 in Wayne County 3rd Circuit Court. Casey is also out on bond.
• Jacob Vellian, charged with two counts of Rape. The AG’s office is pursuing extradition of Vellian, who lives in India.
Nessel charges sixth priest with criminal sexual conduct
Sex trafficking in the USA
By Gloria G. Lee
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
Sex trafficking is one of the major human trafficking and slavery in the United States and other parts of the world. It can also be said to be the human trafficking for sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking is among the largest and fastest growing criminal enterprises across the globe. Sex trafficking crimes are of three types which are movement, acquisition, and exploitation with exploitation being based on the trafficker selling the victim to customers to perform sexual orgies.
The first step in sex trafficking is the recruitment phase where the traffickers target naïve, innocent and unsuspicious individuals in which a large number are young ladies who are trying to improve their lives. They use false promises such as modeling, dancing and acting among other jobs to lure the unsuspecting women into the business. Step number two is to traffic the women to foreign places to remove them from their familiar environmental surroundings. This helps the traffickers in achieving greater control of the victims.
Sexual exploitation begins on arrival at the destination, and it is frequently done to ensure that the trafficker achieves his/her goal which is to make a profit from the exploitation. To achieve obedience, control, and submission from the victim, the traffickers use different methods which include sexual and physical violence, threats against the victim and family members, and blackmail. Some take away personal documents of the victims. The most common way to control the victim is the debt bondage; the trafficker tells the victim that he /she paid a huge amount of money for travel expenses and that she is required to work so that the debt can be fully repaid. The victim is continually made to believe she will get the freedom once the debt is repaid they end up staying in the sex business for weeks months and years.
Sex exploitation usually happens in a range of venues masquerading as massage parlors, online ads, escorts services, in brothels, hotels, and motels on the streets and at truck stops. The victims in the industry are forced to sleep with multiple men in which a single lady is repeatedly forced into anal, oral and other sex orgies by some men that could go to approximately 40 within a day with no food or pay. This makes them vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases. They also undergo physical and psychological violence through their employees and customers. The victims indulge in the use and influence of heavy drugs making it harder for them to escape the bondage. In some circumstances, most of them dying of overdose and starvation and never seeing a different life apart from sexual trafficking.
Most cases of sex trafficking have gone unreported in the United States. For instances, immigrants from developing countries are most vulnerable to enter into such schemes. Most people in business operating strip clubs and brothels in Las Vegas usually recruit this vulnerable ladies into their trade. Some girls are underage girls who are flirted by the glamour and flashy lifestyles in Vegas. They get so attracted to the lifestyle that they use their bodies as a means to an end. Their submission to be used in sex also stems from the reason that they lack documentation papers, so for them to blend with the natives, they end up selling their bodies at low prices.
So many deaths have been recorded in the US involving young men and women who have been trapped in sex trafficking. Their captors are reckless and could do whatever they wish to their victims because they equate them with price tags.
Gloria G. Lee is the host of Women of Courage Show on WHPR 88.1 FM. Email her at email@example.com.
Michigan AG fights to save lives, protect affordable care act
LANSING – As oral arguments to defend or dismantle the Affordable Care Act started in Texas, Michigan Attorney Dana Nessel reminded Michigan residents of the risk if Trump’s lawsuit to repeal the ACA succeeds.
“ If Donald Trump gets his way, 720,000 Michiganders could lose their coverage – leading to a 115-percent increase in our uninsured rate,” said Nessel. “In addition, 73,000 young Michigan adults who are covered by their parents’ insurance could lose that coverage.
“ Finally,” said Nessel, “Michigan could lose important federal health care funding – estimated to be $5.2 billion in the first year if the ACA were to be repealed.”
Nessel also pointed out that more than 40 percent of Michigan residents – 4,110,300 – have a pre-existing condition that would no longer be covered as insurance companies step away from mandated coverage. Of those with pre-existing conditions, Nessel said 527,600 are children, 2,038,000 are women, and 1,024,000 are between the ages of 55 and 64.
“If you’re not enrolled in a major public program like Medicaid or Medicare, and you have a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, behavioral health disorders, osteoarthritis or something else, you are at the mercy of the insurance companies and can expect higher premiums, higher co-pays, and significant out-of-pocket expenses,” said Nessel.
The Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010, requires health plans to cover preventive services like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception and mammograms –at no cost to consumers.
Nessel joined Protect Our Care, a coalition of health care advocates, in raising concerns about the Trump Administration’s efforts to take away people’s health care by overturning the Affordable Care Act.
“Trump’s Texas lawsuit is the clearest indication of his intention to strip coverage from millions of Americans and decimate protections for pre-existing conditions,” said Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse.
Oral arguments in Texas v US are scheduled to be heard this month in the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“I refuse to let anyone take away the health care rights of our residents,” declared Nessel. “We will fight this effort at every turn.”