Waterford priest is 6th charged with criminal sexual conduct in state

The sixth priest has been charged in a statewide clergy sexual abuse investigation.

Father Jack Baker was a priest at St. Perpetua parish in Waterford for more than a decade. On Monday morning he was arrested and charged with criminal sexual conduct first degree, sexual penetration with a person under the age of 13.

On June 20, the Archdiocese of Detroit announced it had restricted Baker from all ministry pending the outcome of an internal investigation. 

"This follows a complaint that was originally turned into the Archdiocese of Detroit in early June," said Msgr. Michael Bugarin. "According to our agreement with the local prosecutors, and in light of the attorney general's investigation, we immediately turned that allegation over to local law enforcement and over to attorney general's office."

Baker's arrest is part of Attorney General Dana Nessel's on-going investigation into clergy abuse within the Catholic Church. A total of six priests have been charged with criminal sexual conduct since May.

Nessel released a statement saying, "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's assignment history:

  • 1993-1996: Associate Pastor, St. Hugo of the Hills Parish, Bloomfield Hills
  • 1996-1997: Associate Pastor, Sacred Heart Parish, Dearborn
  • 1996-1997: Campus Minister, Wayne State Medical School Campus Ministry, Detroit
  • 1997-2008: Pastor, St. Mary Parish, Wayne
  • 2003-2004: Administrators, SS. Kevin and Norbert Parish, Inkster
  • 2003-2008: Administrator, Holy Family Parish, Inkster
  • 2011: Administrator: St. Benedict Parish, Waterford
  • 2008-present: Pastor, St. Perpetua Parish, Waterford

Another priest, Father Eduard Perrone has been temporarily restricted from any public ministry due to a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. He was the pastor at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Detroit.

"We are doing our own internal process right now, I am not aware of what the attorney general is doing," said Bugarin. "We were just notified by the attorney general that we could continue with our own church law process, that's what we're doing."

The Archdiocese of Detroit says under church law, much like civil law, there is presumption of innocence during this process.