The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 24, 2013

Police: Sisters harbor sex offender

By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item

LEWISBURG — SUNBURY — Two sisters were apprehended at a Valley hospital after police say the siblings allowed three children to live in the presence of a registered Megan’s Law offender.

Connie Baker, 33, of 632 S. Front St., and Jillian Baker, 30, of 352 S. Fourth St., were arrested Tuesday as they waited for Connie Baker’s 15-year-old son to get out of surgery after police say the boy, who is autistic and was unsupervised, darted into traffic and was struck by a vehicle Saturday.

The incident began when police were called to Connie Baker’s home after the accident. The teen was unable to provide information to police, but a neighbor told police who the boy was, according to court documents.

Police went to Connie Baker’s home and began yelling in an attempt to get someone to answer the door, officers said. When they got no response, they entered the home and found a 5-year-old sleeping on a sofa but still no one responded to their calls, court documents said.

Police said they began to walk up a staircase when they heard people talking.

Police asked if the 15-year-boy lived in the home and a man responded, “Yes,” police said.

Police told the man the boy was struck by a vehicle, and Connie Baker appeared and began to tell police it was her son, according to court documents.

Connie Baker went outside to attend to her son, whom she said was only staying with her for the weekend. She said she fell asleep and he “must have got out,” police said.

Officers contacted Northumberland County Children and Youth Services, and officials said they would meet police at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, to talk with Connie Baker, officers said.

Children and Youth officials and police asked Connie Baker if any other children lived in the home, and Connie Baker said no, police said.

County officials asked where the teen’s father was, and Connie Baker said, “He lives in Middleburg,” police said.

Officers asked again whether other children lived in the home, and Connie Baker replied that she has another son who lives with her sister, Jillian Baker, because Connie Baker’s boyfriend is a registered sex offender, police said.

Connie Baker identified the man as Tyrone Green, of Northumberland, according to police.

Officers asked why children where sleeping overnight with a registered sex offender, and she said she had permission from Northumberland County for the weekend visit, police said.

Police asked who the 5-year-old sleeping on the sofa was, and Connie Baker said it was her sister’s son and that he stayed overnight, court documents said.

Connie Baker said she allowed the 5-year-old to stay overnight because her sister works at night in Harrisburg, police said.

Connie Baker told officers that Jillian Baker knew Green was a registered sex offender, police said.

When county officials questioned one of the children about where he was living, the child said Connie Baker told him to say he lives with Jillian Baker because if police found out he was living at Connie Baker’s house she would get in trouble, police said.

Police sorted through the information, and on Tuesday, arrest warrants were issued for the sisters. They were apprehended at Geisinger as they waited for the 15-year-old boy to come out of surgery on a broken arm, police said.

Connie Baker was charged with a felony count of endangering the welfare of minors for allowing the child to live in a home with a registered sex offender and two misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of children and endangering the welfare of another person.

Jillian Baker was charged with a misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of children.

During a bail discussion, Jillian Baker told District Judge Ben Apfelbaum that she was an entertainer in Harrisburg. Apfelbaum released her on $10,000 unsecured bail.

Connie Baker told Apfelbaum she hadn’t worked in six months and was set to begin school in less than two weeks, but the judge sent her to the Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $60,000 bail.

Green was apprehended on Saturday and was sent to the Northumberland County Prison. He is awaiting a hearing.

The children have been placed with Northumberland County Children and Youth Services.

The sisters will appear Oct. 2 for preliminary hearings.