|Associated Press/Matt Rourke|
William J. Brennan, defense lawyer for Father Andrew McCormick, referred to his client's Roman
Catholic priest's collar as "the elephant in the room."
In his closing argument, Brennan reminded the jury of 9 women and 3 men that they were picked to hear this case because they said they could be impartial about the subject of a Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a child.
Brennan reminded jurors that "Father Andy" didn't have to take the witness stand. He conceded his client is "a bit of an awkward guy." Father Andy turned "beet red" on the witness stand, Brennan admitted; the priest looked like "a deer in the headlights." But Brennan was hoping that jurors remembered what Father Andy had told them, that he wasn't a child molester.
In her closing argument, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp turned Father Andy's Roman collar into a weapon to be used against him. She reminded the jury about how arrogant the priest had been with a mother who was upset that Father Andy was planning to take her son to Poland for a week, without consulting her first.
The priest's attitude was, "I'm Father Andy; you don't tell me what to do," Assistant District Attorney Kemp reminded the jury. "The defendant," she said, "wears his collar as a matter of convenience." He puts it on when he thinks it will impress people, and he takes it off when he's bringing altar boys to a PG-13 movie with sex scenes and profanity.
"Do not let him hide behind his collar," Kemp told the jury.