By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In its first full day of deliberations in the case of a Philadelphia priest accused of sexually assaulting an altar boy 18-years ago (in 1997), a jury came up with an important question, but no verdict. Jurors will resume talking it over this morning.
Approaching midday on Monday, jurors sent Judge Gwendolyn Bright a note asking whether the alleged victim’s testimony “was sufficient to convict.”
The jury filed into the courtroom, and the judge’s verbal response was brief: “if the testimony was sufficient beyond a reasonable doubt to find the defendant guilty.”
But then, several hours went by with no communication, until the end of the day, when jurors told the judge they were at a ‘break point in deliberations,’ and would like to resume in the morning.
Last week, Father Andrew McCormick’s 27-year old accuser told jurors that his “childhood was taken from me by that man.”
During his emotional stay on the stand, the alleged victim told jurors Father McCormick sexually assaulted him in the priest’s living quarters at St. John Cantius Parish in Bridesburg when he was a 10-year old altar boy.
The 59-year old McCormick did not testify over the five-day trial, but he did last year when his first trial ended with a hung jury after four days of deliberations.
The charges include involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and corruption of a minor. The priest has been on administrative leave from the church.