Trial Begins for Priest Accused of Molesting Altar Boy

Thursday, Feb 27, 2014  |  Updated 12:19 PM EDT
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Philly Priest Sex Abuse Trial Begins

NBC10 Philadelphia

Rev. Andrew McCormick (right) is accused of sex abuse.

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A defense lawyer vowed not to attack the accuser's character as the latest priest-abuse trial opened in Philadelphia.

But lawyer William Brennan Thursday asked why only one person has accused the Rev. Andrew McCormick of molestation during his 30 years as a priest.

A prosecutor said the accuser's mother had gone to McCormick in the 1990s over concerns that her 10-year-old son was gay.

Authorities say McCormick then targeted the boy, and sexually assaulted him after Mass one day at St. John Cantius in Northeast Philadelphia.

Philadelphia prosecutors have investigated priest-abuse reports in Philadelphia for a decade, and won several sex-abuse convictions.

McCormick had been suspended by the church over a less serious allegation a year before the trial accuser came forward in 2012.

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The charges against the 57-year-old priest include sexual assault, child endangerment and indecent exposure.

Philadelphia prosecutors have been investigating priest-abuse reports in Philadelphia for a decade, and have gained several sex-abuse convictions.

Authorities say McCormick regularly took boys on trips to Poland during his three decades as a Philadelphia-area priest.

An earlier judge had found the alleged abuse described by the accuser at a preliminary hearing did not meet the legal definition of the felony sexual assault charges. But Common Pleas Judge Paula Patrick reinstated the charges in October 2012.

 


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