Philly Priest Arrested for Alleged Sexual Assault: Police

A Philadelphia priest is accused of sexually assaulting an altar boy in 1997.

By Lauren DiSanto, Deanna Durante and David Chang
|  Friday, Jul 27, 2012  |  Updated 11:31 PM EDT
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Father Andrew McCormick was arrested Thursday night for alleged sexual assault. McCormick is accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997. NBC10's Deanna Durante reports.

NBC10 Philadelphia - Deanna Durante

Father Andrew McCormick was arrested Thursday night for alleged sexual assault. McCormick is accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997. NBC10's Deanna Durante reports.

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Priest Arrested for Sexual Assault

Father Andrew McCormick was arrested by Philadelphia Police on charges of sexual assault. A man has come forward to say he was abused by McCormick when he was an altar boy in 1997. NBC10's Marisa Brahney tells us why he decided to come forward now.
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Father Andrew McCormick has been arrested for an alleged sexual assault. He was taken into police custody late Thursday night after accusations that he sexually assaulted an altar boy in 1997.

McCormick posted 10 percent of his $150,000 bail on Friday night and was released.

McCormick was a pastor at St. John Cantius Church in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia at the time of the alleged assault.

Investigators from the Philadelphia Police Department's Special Victims Unit as well as District Attorney Seth Williams held a news conference on the charges Friday afternoon.

"He befriended this young boy and asked him to consider becoming an altar boy and started to have him come serve mass and have soda and cookies," said Williams. "This led to a trip upstairs in the rectory." 

Police say the victim, who was 10-years-old at the time of the alleged assault, came forward in December of last year to report the crime after seeing coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

"The news coverage of things going on at Penn State and investigations involving other priests in this area I think brought it all out again," said Philadelphia Police Captain John Darby.

Parishioners at St. John Cantius tell NBC10 McCormick seemed like a good priest.

'We liked him as a priest very much," said Gloria Jankiewicz. "We were very disappointed when we heard what had happened, that he would even think of doing things like that to children."

"He actually baptized a couple of my grandchildren," said Ken Ferro of Port Richmond. "He was always a gentleman when he came in here, never a problem."

Father McCormick has been on leave for more than a year from Sacred Heart in Swedesburg, Pa. He was one of 26 priests that the Philadelphia Archdiocese suspended following a 2011 grand jury report.

Prosecutors say the latest case has nothing to do with the suspension. The spokesperson for the Archdiocese told NBC10 that McCormick is still a priest and still on suspension. He is currently being held on bail.
 

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