By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A month after a second jury failed to reach a verdict in the case of a suspended Philadelphia priest for allegedly sexually assaulting a ten-year-old altar boy in 1997, a judge has lifted his gag order on all of the involved parties.
And now, they’re talking about the case publically for the first time.
After two hung juries in 12 months and talking it over with the alleged victim, now 27, and his family, the district attorney’s office announced that it would not retry Father Andrew McCormick a third time.
Assistant DA Kristen Kemp, who handled both trials, praised all of those who stepped forward despite their presumed emotional scars.
“Every victim who displays the courage to speak up, like the young man in this case, helps our community expose, stop, and prevent the sexual abuse of children,” she said.
Defense attorney Trevan Borum discounts any talk that McCormick, now 59, considered a plea deal during his legal difficulties.
“At no time was Father McCormick going to plead guilty to a crime that he didn’t commit,” Borum said today. “He told me that if it was God’s will to go to jail for a crime he didn’t commit, then so be it.”
During his emotional time on the stand, the alleged victim told jurors that McCormick sexually assaulted him in the priest’s living quarters at St. John Cantius parish, in Bridesburg, when he was an altar boy.
Borum says if the DA had sought to try McCormick a third time, he would have filed a motion with Pennsylvania Superior Court, seeking to have the case barred on double-jeopardy grounds. He claims McCormick was denied a fair trial because of the prosecuting attorney’s emotional plea for the jury’s sympathy.
Borum also says the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will review Father McCormick’s status, but he wonders how McCormick will ever get his reputation, or his life, back. He says McCormick faces an “uncertain future.”