Charges Dismissed
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A Blair County judge dismissed charges this week against a Franciscan friar accused of endangering children. Giles Schinelli is one of three friars accused of enabling Brother Stephen Baker to sexually assault children while he worked at Bishop McCort Catholic High School in Johnstown. A spokesman for Judge Jolene Kopriva said Tuesday that she had dropped the charges against Schinelli. He was facing child endangerment and criminal conspiracy charges. Officials said Kopriva dropped the charges because the statute of limitations had already passed for Schinelli. The statue requires charges to be filed no more than 10 years after the victims turn 18. Schinelli was one of three friars charged in the case. The other two are Robert D'Aversa and Anthony Criscatelli. They still are facing charges of criminal conspiracy and endangering the welfare of children. Brother Baker was accused of assaulting more than 100 children before he killed himself in 2013. He committed suicide in 2013, before church officials paid more than $8 million to settle claims against him. A spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office said they are looking into the court's ruling.