Felony charges reinstated against Bridesburg priest

The Rev. An­drew Mc­Cormick is once again, after a judge first over­turned the charges, charged with in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ate sexu­al in­ter­course, stat­utory sexu­al as­sault and sexu­al as­sault.

Felony sex charges were re­in­stated last week against a Cath­ol­ic priest ac­cused of sexu­ally as­sault­ing a 10-year-old al­tar boy at St. John Can­ti­us Par­ish in Brides­burg in 1997.

The Rev. An­drew Mc­Cormick, known as “Fath­er Andy,” is once again charged with in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ate sexu­al in­ter­course, stat­utory sexu­al as­sault and sexu­al as­sault.

At an Au­gust hear­ing, Mc­Cormick’s al­leged vic­tim, who is now 24, test­i­fied that he was led by Mc­Cormick to his bed­room where Mc­Cormick at­temp­ted to ini­ti­ate or­al sex.

Judge Kar­en Sim­mons then ruled that there was no evid­ence of pen­et­ra­tion, which the law re­quires for charges of felony sexu­al as­sault and in­vol­un­tary de­vi­ate sexu­al in­ter­course. She did not over­turn mis­de­mean­or charges of child en­dan­ger­ment and in­de­cent as­sault.

However, the of­fice of Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­ams ap­pealed and got the felony charges re­in­stated by the Court of Com­mon Pleas.

Mc­Cormick, 56, will be form­ally ar­raigned on the felony charges on Oct. 23.

Mc­Cormick left Brides­burg in 2000, and was most re­cently serving as a priest in Mont­gomery County. In 2011, he and two dozen oth­er Cath­ol­ic clergy were sus­pen­ded from ser­vices while the Arch­diocese of Phil­adelphia in­vest­ig­ated past ab­use claims against them.

Of that group, Mc­Cormick is the only one charged with a crime; however, it is re­portedly un­re­lated to the Arch­diocese’s in­vest­ig­a­tion of a 2004 in­cid­ent in­volving Mc­Cormick about which no in­form­a­tion has been made pub­lic.

The cur­rent charges arose after Mc­Cormick’s ac­cuser con­tac­ted au­thor­it­ies in 2011, in part due to pub­li­city re­lated to the Jerry San­dusky case. San­dusky, a former as­sist­ant foot­ball coach at Penn State, was con­victed of 45 counts of child sex ab­use in­volving young­sters he lured from a char­ity called Second Mile.

Sup­port­ers of “Fath­er Andy” have said the charges are base­less. In an earli­er Star story, one wo­man com­men­ted that Fath­er Andy was a won­der­ful in­flu­ence on her and her three broth­ers.

The ac­cuser was an al­tar boy when Mc­Cormick al­legedly in­vited him to the rect­ory after a Sunday even­ing Mass in 1997.

Mc­Cormick is free on $150,000 bail and resid­ing at his par­ents’ home in Pott­stown. He vol­un­tar­ily turned him­self over to po­lice in Ju­ly after charges were filed.

Re­port­er Sam Ne­w­house can be reached at 215-354-3124 or at sne­w­house@bsmphilly.com.

You can reach at snewhouse@bsmphilly.com.

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