"Father McCormick is presumed innocent under the law of this lone allegation that dates back to the '90s," Brennan said. "I have already received numerous contacts from people who have known him and who will support Father McCormick."
Brennan, a veteran Center City criminal defense attorney, recently defended the Rev. James J. Brennan, who is not related, in the Common Pleas Court trial in which Brennan was accused of attempted rape and child-endangerment involving a boy, 14, in 1996.
The jury said June 22 that it could not reach a verdict in the counts against Brennan, 49, and the District Attorney's Office has announced that it will retry him.
According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, McCormick was ordained in 1982 and spent four years at St. Adalbert parish in Port Richmond. He was at St. John Cantius from 1986 to 2000 and St. Bede the Venerable parish in Holland, Bucks County, from 2000 to 2004.
Last year, McCormick was in his seventh year as pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Bridgeport, Montgomery County, when church officials included him on a list of 26 Roman Catholic priests suspended from ministry for possible child misconduct.
The archdiocese announcement did not describe why McCormick had been included on last year's list. In a statement Friday, church officials said the alleged incident that led to McCormick's arrest "is a new allegation to the archdiocese."
William Brennan confirmed that McCormick was on "administrative leave" from the Bridgeport parish, but said he could not discuss what led to his suspension last year.
At a news conference Friday, District Attorney Seth Williams said McCormick's alleged victim, now 25, contacted police sex-crimes investigators in December after charges were filed against former Pennsylvania State University assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and the trial of Brennan and codefendant Msgr. William J. Lynn was scheduled.
Lynn, 61, who was secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, the church official responsible for investigating allegations against priests for sexual abuse of minors, was found guilty of one count of child endangerment. He was sentenced July 24 to three to six years in prison. His lawyers, who have said they would appeal, are to return to court next Monday to argue that Lynn should be free on bail pending appeal.
Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @joeslobo.
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