January 19, 2006

Former Priest Arrested At LAX


POSTED: 4:57 pm PST January 19, 2006
UPDATED: 5:19 pm PST January 19, 2006

LOS ANGELES -- A former Los Angeles Archdiocese priest who escaped prosecution for sexual abuse on children in 2003 because of a Supreme Court ruling was arrested Thursday at Los Angeles International Airport.

Michael Stephen Baker, 58, was arrested at 2 p.m. on suspicion of commiting lewd acts upon a child, according to Sgt. Dan Scott, of the sheriff's Special Victims Bureau.

The arrest "is in connection with the ongoing investigation into allegations of child molestation involving present and former Catholic priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese," according to a statement from the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

The Los Angeles Times reported in October that investigators had opened a new probe of Baker, focusing on two brothers who said they were molested by the now-former priest. The probe had been hindered because the brothers now live in Mexico, but investigators obtained visas last spring so the brothers could be interviewed in Arizona.

Investigators interviewed Lynne M. Cadigan, the brothers' Tucson-based civil attorney, who obtained a $1.3-million settlement on their behalf from Baker and the archdiocese, she told the newspaper.

Officials would not confirm whether Baker's arrest today was in connection with the brothers' allegations.

Posted by kshaw at January 19, 2006 08:32 PM