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Church Covers $10 Million Case For Molester

Eric Parra |
March 12, 2013 | 8:54 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer


Michael Baker and his attorney, Leonard Levine (bishop-accountability)
Michael Baker and his attorney, Leonard Levine (bishop-accountability)

Michael Baker, a local priest, has been the heart of several cases in the past regarding Church-related molestation. His most recent court case has led the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to pay nearly $10 million to four men claiming to have been molested by Baker.

During a 1986 retreat, Baker admitted his abuse of two boys to the then archbishop, but was sent back to his regular duties. He was caught and imprisoned for a different case of molestation in 2007.


From the L.A. Times: 

“The church has settled numerous cases brought by Baker’s victims in the past, but the $9.9-million settlement announced Tuesday is the first settlement since the January release of 12,000 pages of internal archdiocese records about abuse. Many of those documents detailed Cardinal Roger Mahony’s dealings with Baker.”


According to the lawyer of the alleged victims, Vince Finaldi, “Once we got the files it confirmed everything we had argued for years and years… Cardinal Mahony’s fingerprints were all over the case.” 

Over the last three decades, there have been reports of Baker molesting 23 different boys. “He previously received a $2-million settlement. Under a distribution agreement determined by a judge, his brothers will receive $4 million each for abuse that they said they suffered in the mid-1990s. A man who alleged that Baker abused him in 1974 and another who said the priest victimized him in the mid-1980s each received nearly $1 million.”

Baker was released from prison in 2011 and currently resides in Costa Mesa. He is not under restriction to pay the charges under the terms of settlement. 


Reach Executive Producer Eric Parra here.



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