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2 Ex-Priests' Charges Dismissed

July 16, 2003

Charges were dismissed Tuesday against two former priests accused of molesting children, the latest in a number of such cases in Los Angeles County that have been dropped under a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Michael Baker, 55, had been charged with molesting a boy between 1980 and 1985. The offenses were alleged to have occurred in the rectory of churches in La Mirada and Pico Rivera, and in a Palm Desert condominium. Baker pleaded not guilty.

The charges against him were dismissed by Superior Court Commissioner Michael Schuur at a hearing in Norwalk at the request of prosecutors.

On June 26, the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to strike down the California law that eased the statute of limitations in old molestation cases.

Charges were also dropped against retired priest Titian Athos Miani, 76, who was charged last month with two counts of committing a lewd act on a child, said district attorney's spokeswoman Jane Robison. The case involved the alleged molestation of two girls in the 1960s, when Miani was assistant principal of St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower.

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