But Simmons caught the D.A.'s Office off-guard when she dismissed the most serious felony charges: involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, which is oral sex with a child under age 13; sexual assault, oral sex without the victim's consent; and statutory sexual assault, oral sex with a child under age 16 when the defendant is more than four years older.
During the hearing, Assistant District Attorney John P. O'Neill argued that any contact between McCormick's penis and the former altar boy's lips or teeth - however slight - warranted felony charges.
Defense attorney William J. Brennan argued that no penetration took place. His client maintains his innocence, he said, and suggested that the former altar boy's story was "opportunistic" and came to light only after other former priests and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky had been put on trial for similar crimes.
Because another judge will determine whether McCormick will stand trial on the refiled charges, his Oct. 18 trial on the four misdemeanors will be delayed, according to the prosecution's motion.
The lesser charges that McCormick faces are indecent assault without consent of other, child endangerment, corruption of a minor and indecent exposure.
McCormick, now free on bail, was placed on leave in March 2011 by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from Sacred Heart Parish in Montgomery County.
Contact Mensah M. Dean at 215-568-8278 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mensahdean.
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