By Kay Ebeling
Ex-priest Michael Baker did not seem like a guilty man facing a just penance as he sauntered out of court Monday afternoon. Several victims at his sentencing observed he looked more like a guy leaving a business meeting, a successful one. Baker shook hands “so long” with his attorneys and left court with a lilt in his gait. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for oral copulation of two boys under age 18, but at a press conference after the hearing, Deputy District Attorney William Hodgman, calculated the amount of time Baker will actually serve.
“If he, in a sense, keeps his nose clean in prison, he will be entitled to 50 percent credits, that's good time and work time credits,” said Hodgman, who is head of target crimes in LA County.
“It appears the amount he will serve will be like a couple more years,” Hodgman said.
Baker gets 717 days served and work time, totaling 1075 days credit. Baker looked well fed and rested from his stay in LA county jail.
DA Michael Beart informed the slouching former priest that he’d have to register as a sex offender five days after release.
Baker’s face revealed he was already scheming what he’ll do when he gets out.
The former priest predator kept a little pout on his mouth, and as the hearing progressed the left side of his lips drooped into a half frown. His eyes were half lidded eyes, he was only half there, as several crime victims came forward to make impact statements, revealing how much he cared.
Baker appearance was crisp. He was fresh coiffed, with a trimmed beard, making him look like a college professor, even in his orange jumpsuit. Quite a change from last time he was in court almost one year ago, when his hair was long and shaggy, silver and grey blending in with a scraggly months growth of beard.
He’d glare out from the prisoners’ security bin with a scowl, eyes blazing like a madman.
Today Baker looked like a sedated TV preacher with plans for a quick comeback after prison.
Before the victims could speak, Donald Steier, main defense attorney for pedophile priests in LA, jumped up to say, “We are not waiving any finding of unconstitutionality in the future,” which made even the judge go quizzical and respond with, why are you saying that now? We can't even consider that here.
Why did Steier feel he needed to specify some future challenge of Baker’s conviction?
Then the victim impact statements began
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