By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An accused Philadelphia priest took the witness stand today to say he never sexually molested a former altar boy who is now 26 years old.
Father Andrew McCormick this afternoon told the jury that he never molested the alleged victim in this case nor any of the hundreds of altar boys he supervised. In his words, “None — none whatsoever.”
McCormick, speaking directly to the jury, said, “I want to convince you of that. It has certainly been a devastation to me.”
The alleged abuse happened at St. John Cantius Church in 1997 (see related stories).
Then, in an attempt to undermine the defendant’s credibility, prosecutor Kristen Kemp got McCormick to acknowledge he had been reprimanded by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for having young boys up to his living quarters. And even after the reprimands, he admitted, he repeatedly had boys up to his quarters.
But he defended himself, saying it “wasn’t for anything social.” They brought something to him, he explained, or, in one case, a boy helped him move.