Ex-priest to testify in abuse inquiry

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A former priest who admitted to child abuse will testify before a grand jury investigating the Los Angeles archdiocese, a courthouse source said Friday.

Prosecutors are scrutinizing how the Los Angeles archdiocese and Cardinal Roger Mahony dealt with priest abuse cases, the Los Angeles Times reported.


The former priest, Michael Steve Baker, became a symbol of how the Roman Catholic church transferred priests who abused young boys. He told Mahony of his abuse two decades ago and was sent to a treatment center in New Mexico but then reassigned to other parishes where the abuse continued, the Times reported.

Mahony's attorney said the cardinal is not a target of the federal investigation and is cooperating with authorities.

Baker is in federal custody, the source told the Times. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

The Times noted the Los Angeles archdiocese agreed to pay $660 million two years ago to 508 people who accused priests of sexual abuse. That represents the nation's biggest settlement in priest abuse cases.

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