- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - The Latest on a hearing to decide whether three Franciscan friars should stand trial on child endangerment and other charges for their role in supervising another friar accused of molesting more than 100 children (all times local):

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3:05 p.m.

A lawyer for one of three Franciscan friars ordered to stand trial in Pennsylvania in a child endangerment case says there is no evidence his client did anything wrong.

Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli assigned or supervised another friar accused of molesting scores of children at a Catholic high school in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the 1990s.

They now face trial on charges of conspiracy and child endangerment.

Attorney Charles Porter Jr. says Schinelli investigated an allegation against Brother Stephen Baker and had him examined by a doctor, who found he had no sexual disorder. Given that, the attorney says there’s no evidence of criminal intent.

The attorneys for the other two men declined to comment after the hearing, as did all three friars.

Baker killed himself in 2013.

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2:35 p.m.

A Pennsylvania judge has ordered three Franciscan friars to stand trial on charges linked to their role supervising another friar accused of molesting scores of children.

The decision comes after more testimony Wednesday in their preliminary hearing on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.

Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli assigned or supervised Brother Stephen Baker when he served at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown in the 1990s. Prosecutors say they enabled him.

The defense argued that it’s too late to file charges and said their clients did their best to supervise Baker given what they knew.

More than 90 students have settled lawsuits for more than $8 million.

Baker killed himself in 2013.

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1:50 p.m.

Lawyers are making arguments before a Pennsylvania judge who will decide whether three Franciscan friars will stand trial on charges related to their role in supervising another friar who’s accused of molesting more than 100 children.

Wednesday afternoon’s arguments came after testimony ended in their preliminary hearing on child endangerment and conspiracy charges. It’s unclear when the judge will rule.

Franciscans Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli assigned or supervised Brother Stephen Baker when he served at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown in the 1990s.

The defense argues that it’s too late to file charges and that their clients did their best to supervise Baker given what they knew.

More than 90 students have settled lawsuits for more than $8 million.

Baker killed himself in 2013.

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11 a.m.

The former principal of a Catholic high school in Pennsylvania says a Franciscan religious order never told him a friar he hired as a teacher had been accused of child sexual abuse.

William Rushin testified Wednesday at the preliminary hearing of three Franciscan friars accused of allowing Brother Stephen Baker to hold jobs where he molested children.

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

Baker killed himself in 2013.

William Rushin was principal of Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown.

He says he hired Baker as a religion teacher and Baker eventually volunteered as an athletic trainer.

More than 90 students have settled suits claiming Baker molested them, mostly while acting as a sports trainer.

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10:10 a.m.

Testimony has resumed in the case of three Franciscan friars charged with allowing a suspected sexual predator to teach at a Pennsylvania high school and hold other jobs where he molested more than 100 children.

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

Prosecutors say the three were aware of the allegations dating to 1977 against Brother Stephen Baker, who killed himself in 2013.

The friars successively headed a Franciscan order in Pennsylvania from 1986 to 2010 and supervised Baker.

Defense attorneys say the friars did the best they could.

When 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.

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12:10 a.m.

Testimony is set to resume in the case of three Franciscan friars charged with allowing a suspected sexual predator to teach at a Pennsylvania high school and hold other jobs where he molested more than 100 children.

Wednesday’s preliminary hearing will determine whether Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli will stand trial on child endangerment and conspiracy charges. The hearing began April 14.

Prosecutors say the three were aware of the allegations dating to 1977 against Brother Stephen Baker, who killed himself in 2013.

The friars successively headed a Franciscan order in Pennsylvania from 1986 to 2010. They assigned and supervised Baker, who was accused of molesting students at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown.

Defense attorneys say the friars did the best they could and that the statute of limitations has expired.

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