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Judge finds Baker guilty of violating his parole

February 11, 2013

    A Noble County Superior Court judge has ruled that Paul David Baker, 49, of Monroeville, violated his probation terms for conviction of child molesting and battery.
    Judge Robert Kirsch found Baker in violation due to charges filed against Baker in Adams County last July for two counts of unlawful employment near children by a sexual predator.
    Baker will not be sentenced by Kirsch until March 28. He could be sentenced to serve some or all of the eight years of the suspended sentence he received for the original charge.
    Adams County Prosecutor Chris Harvey filed the charges after learning Baker was a volunteer coach for the South Adams girls basketball team during the 2011-12 season. Not long after, South Adams Athletic Director Mike Pries resigned that post and left the school district.
    Baker is scheduled to stand trial in Adams Circuit Court at a latter date.
    Shortly after Baker was charged in Adams County for his ties to South Adams, that school's athletic director, Mike Pries, resigned.
    In a two-day hearing last week in the court in Albion, Baker contended did not act as a coach for the team and he presented 11 letters of support. His attorneys claimed authorities in Adams County withheld evidence.which determined that Baker did not violate his probation.
    According to the probable cause report filed in Adams County, on February 7, 2012, Adams County Sheriff's Deputy Andy Guise received a complaint Baker was working as a volunteer for the South Adams girls basketball team, of which Baker's daughter was a member.
    Guise spoke with Pries, who is reportedly a friend of Baker's. Pries said in a sworn statement that Baker had not asked to help the team in any way, but that head coach Ryan Cunningham had asked Baker to "view a couple of game films of our opponents to help the coaching staff ... and then give the report to our coaching staff."
    The probable cause affidavit says Guise then spoke with Cunningham and SA junior varsity coach Becky Grimm, who was involved with the open gym sessions at the school. Cunningham said Baker never attended any team practices, while Grimm said Baker was present for some of the open gym sessions but did not assist in any way.
    After speaking with school officials and coaches, the probable cause report said, Guise spoke to 12 members of the basketball team, with each girl saying Baker attended or participated in at least some open gym sessions and practices, and provided scouting reports for opposing teams, giving at least one of those reports to the team himself, according to the affidavit.
    Guise spoke again with Pries, who stated he has known Baker both personally and professionally for 20 years and maintained Baker did not attend any team practices. Pries did confirm, however, that Baker did go to other schools to scout opposing teams and reported back to team coaches at South Adams, according to the affidavit.
    Baker denied attending team practices, but did admit being at the school during practices, stocking the concession cooler and setting up athletic equipment at the school, according to the report.
    Baker further admitted that he was present during at least some open gym sessions and that he would stay and help the girls during those sessions.
  

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