Rough transcripts of victim impact statements from Matt Severson, Mary Grant, Vicki Martin, Unnamed Child, Virginia Zamora, Frank Zamora, and James Brown who spoke to the ex-Father Mike at his sentencing hearing in Los Angeles Monday. The ex-priest preyed on at least 15 parishes between Southern California and Arizona in the eighties and nineties, continuing to create victims long after he’d admitted to and been treated for child molestation. -- ke
MATT SEVERSON: “I’d be getting ready to say 10 AM Mass and there’d be a 20 dollar bill on the pillow next to me”
In 1976 Michael Stephen Baker entered my life. I was nine years old. He paid a lot of attention to me and the other young boys, tickling us. His tickling felt different to me, he’d go close to the groin, but I didn't say anything.
Father Mike became more and more a part of our lives. He became close to my parents, and offered to baby sit --
I remember the first time, he took off my pajamas during the night, and he’d have his mouth close to my hear and whisper oh Matt how I love you. The touching escalated to masturbation and oral sex.
When I questioned him about it, he rationalized it as just his being too touchy feely and “that’s just the way I express my feelings.”
He turned it around to where it was me. I was too sensitive
My mother was in his grip and would listen to what he said about me wouldn't listen to what I said about him -- then he would tell her things and she in turn would rage at me.
On weekends I felt like a prostitute. I’d be getting ready to say 10 AM Mass and there’d be a 20 dollar bill on the pillow next to me.
My hair started falling out in clumps.
My mom’s closeness to Father Mike strained my parents. Soon Dad left and that only pulled mom and me tighter to Father Mike.
Just staying around the rectories on weekends after being molested, I was denied a normal adolescence. My grades suffered, I became depressed. My senior year in high school suicide became a viable option.
But at the end of my senior year, I started pulling away from Baker, and severely compromised my relationship with my mother -- she even resorted to violence to get me to spend time with him.
After high school I was able to distance myself from Baker and my family and “made a semblance of normal life” for myself hundreds of miles away
I was still under the impression it was all my fault. Father Mike was still sending me checks in the mail. It made me still feel complicit and guilty