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NEWS
April 12, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
After two Philadelphia juries failed to reach a verdict in 12 months, the District Attorney's Office announced Friday it would not retry the Rev. Andrew McCormick, a Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy almost 18 years ago in a Bridesburg parish. Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp, backed by key members of her office's sex-crimes unit, announced the decision in a brief hearing before Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright. Though she approved the dismissal, Bright told Kemp and defense attorney Trevan Borum she wanted her gag order obeyed until April 13. It bars the lawyers and all involved parties, including McCormick, from commenting on the case.
NEWS
March 28, 2015 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
A state Superior Court panel upheld this week the prison sentences of a Catholic priest and former parochial-school teacher convicted of sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy from Northeast Philadelphia. The Rev. Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero, a former St. Jerome teacher, were sentenced by a Common Pleas Court judge in June 2013 for abuse that occurred in the late 1990s. Their lawyers appealed, contending prosecutorial misconduct and citing new evidence. Engelhardt died Nov. 15, 2014, just weeks after his appeal was heard.
NEWS
March 16, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
Ask Father Doug McKay to explain what's at the heart of his ministry in Grays Ferry, and he may tell you a story about two brothers. It's an afternoon 10 years ago, and he's sitting on the porch of his ministry house across from St. Gabe's Church. These two brothers from the neighborhood come running down the street, one chasing the other with a butcher knife. When they pass St. Gabe's, the brother with the knife doesn't miss a beat: He switches the knife into his left hand, makes the sign of the cross with his right, and keeps on running after his brother.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AFTER A JURY reported that it was hopelessly deadlocked, a judge declared a mistrial yesterday in the retrial of a Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997 in the rectory at St. John Cantius Parish in Bridesburg. It marks the second time that Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn Bright has declared a mistrial in the case of the Rev. Andrew McCormick. Exactly a year ago, on March 12, 2014, a different jury was deadlocked after 4 1/2 days of deliberations.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
For the second time in 12 months, a Philadelphia jury was unable to reach a verdict in the trial of a Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy almost 18 years ago in a Bridesburg parish. The Common Pleas Court jury of 10 women and two men hearing the trial of the Rev. Andrew McCormick, 58, announced Wednesday that it was hung. The mistrial came one day shy of a year since the last mistrial. McCormick's face reddened as he heard the foreman respond "no verdict" to each of the five counts against him: involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, child endangerment, corruption of a minor, and indecent assault of a minor under 13. But afterward, the priest of 33 years seemed upbeat, wishing court staff a happy Easter as he signed a subpoena to appear at an April 10 hearing.
NEWS
March 8, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
He ate two cookies - light vanilla coating with cream filling - drank a Dr Pepper, and counted to himself as the Rev. Andrew McCormick unfastened the 33 buttons on his cassock one by one. A 27-year-old man recounted that vivid memory from the witness stand this week, describing the moments before McCormick allegedly sexually assaulted him about 18 years ago. And as jurors began deliberating the suspended priest's fate Friday, their decision could...
NEWS
March 6, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
A lawyer for a suspended Chester County priest "emphatically denied" accusations that his client abused three young parishioners as a federal judge ordered the man detained Wednesday on separate child pornography charges. The mounting allegations against Mark Haynes prompted U.S. District Judge Lawrence F. Stengel to reverse a lower court's decision releasing the priest. Stengel said the allegations, if true, establish a "consistent pattern of predatory conduct toward minor children.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck and Michaelle Bond, Inquirer Staff Writers
New allegations have surfaced against a suspended Chester County Catholic priest facing federal child-pornography charges, this time involving three parishioners who say he molested them in the 1990s. The latest accusations, including one from a female who said he forced her to perform oral sex in a Phoenixville church confessional booth, were revealed Tuesday as prosecutors sought to keep the Rev. Mark Haynes behind bars until his trial. So far, Haynes, formerly assigned to SS. Simon and Jude Parish in Westtown, has not been charged with sexual abuse.
NEWS
March 5, 2015 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Bucks County priest removed from ministry last month was placed on leave because it was discovered that a trove of pornographic images he had downloaded in 2005 may have included up to a dozen photos of minors, the archdiocese said in a statement Tuesday. The Rev. Louis J. Kolenkiewicz, 47, most recently of St. Bede the Venerable Parish in Holland, had been disciplined in 2005 and 2011 for downloading pornography, Archdiocese of Philadelphia spokesman Ken Gavin said. But recently, Gavin said, the Bucks County District Attorney's Office - which had investigated the previous cases but declined to press charges - told the archdiocese that among the 12,000 images Kolenkiewicz downloaded in 2005, up to 12 may have depicted juveniles.
NEWS
February 28, 2015 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
A hung jury resulted last spring in the mistrial of the Rev. Andrew McCormick on child sex-assault charges. Lawyers in the retrial that started this week spent parts of four days to select a jury before opening arguments could be heard Thursday afternoon. The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury of 10 women and two men heard accusations that McCormick, 58, abused a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997 at St. John Cantius Catholic Church in Bridesburg. Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp, in her opening statement, showed the jury an old photo of the boy while describing a troubled child victimized by a man of authority.
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