August 18, 2012 |
A municipal judge stunned Philadelphia prosecutors on Thursday when she threw out the most serious charges against a Roman Catholic pastor accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old Philadelphia altar boy in 1997. Judge Karen Simmons issued her ruling after the alleged victim testified that the Rev. Andrew McCormick had led him to his rectory bedroom in the Bridesburg section one evening in 1997, stripped to his boxers, straddled him, and tried to force him to perform oral sex. McCormick's lawyer, William J. Brennan, argued that the allegations did not justify charges of felony sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse because there was "absolutely no evidence" of clear penetration.
March 7, 2014 |
THE PHILADELPHIA Catholic priest on trial for allegedly molesting an altar boy in 1997 was suspended from ministry in 2011 after he twice gave deceptive answers during polygraph tests when asked about touching children's genitals, a prosecutor said yesterday. The revelation about the Rev. Andrew McCormick, 57, was made in court by Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp. It was made following the closing arguments by defense lawyer William J. Brennan and after the jury had been escorted from the room.
September 19, 2012 |
In March, Edward Avery made a bombshell decision: He took a plea deal. Avery, a former priest, admitted he had sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999. He was sentenced to 21/2 to five years in prison. Weeks later, the victim described the attack for jurors at the landmark clergy sex-abuse trial of Avery's codefendant, Msgr. William J. Lynn. After hearing the testimony, the jury convicted Lynn of endangerment because he had let Avery live at the boy's parish. On Monday, Lynn's lawyers dropped their own bombshell in their latest bid to free him on bail.
August 7, 2005 |
When the Rev. James Gigliotti told church officials in the early 1980s that a Northeast Philadelphia priest was molesting boys, he remembers receiving a stern warning. "This comes from the highest authority: You're to keep your mouth shut," Gigliotti said an assistant chancellor told him. The Philadelphia Archdiocese quickly removed the accused priest, the Rev. James J. Brzyski, from his parish in the Fox Chase section. But the archdiocese did not tell parishioners the reason.
October 13, 2011 |
Citing patient confidentiality laws, the treatment center where the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sent priests accused of molestation says it is legally barred from turning over records to prosecutors in the looming child sex abuse trial of four current and former priests. In a motion filed in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, a lawyer for the St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown asked a judge to quash Philadelphia prosecutors' subpoena for one patient's files. The motion says the Pennsylvania Mental Health Procedures Act prohibits it from releasing the records.
January 16, 1998 |
A priest who says he is seeking treatment for a "sex addiction" admitted yesterday in Bucks County Court that, over the course of three years, he supplied an altar boy with beer, shared a bed with him, hugged him, and kissed him on the lips. The Rev. Michael Swierzy, 49, of Downingtown, a former principal of Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia, who most recently ministered at St. John the Evangelist church in Lower Makefield Township, pleaded guilty to one count of corruption of minors and was sentenced to five years' probation.
March 6, 2014 |
After three days of prosecution testimony, the sexual-assault trial of Catholic priest Andrew McCormick moves to the defense Wednesday with the priest's lawyers saying they have not decided whether their client will testify. On Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp completed her case in a day dominated by a former Bridesburg altar boy's conflicted testimony about his relationship with McCormick. Adam Visconto, now 27, told the Common Pleas Court jury that McCormick was an influential spiritual mentor at St. John Cantius parish in Bridesburg.
January 1, 2012 |
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - When Ken Stockton, a 63-year-old communications specialist here, read that Jerry Sandusky, accused of abusing children, allegedly lavished victims with attention and trips, his memory drifted back decades to his youth in Trenton. There, Stockton had a similarly generous Little League coach, a man who took him bowling and mini-golfing, to the Penn Relays and the 1962 Little League World Series. According to Stockton, the coach, Fred Wombwell, secretly molested and raped him hundreds of times between the ages of 11 and 14. Decades passed before Stockton sought counseling.
December 24, 2003 |
Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, to a young altar boy at St. Patrick's Church in Jersey City in 1956, felt like a medieval mysterium. It had all the pomp of the centuries-old Tridentine Mass sung in Latin by the priest at the altar, and answered by the choir from the shadowed loft at the rear of the darkened church. Memory carries the treasure of this moment. Altar boys enter and swing bronze censers as wreaths of evergreen and holly shudder to the sounds of a thousand parishioners rising as one, singing the opening lines of "Adeste Fidelis," and the bells above us begin to ring out from the high stone towers.