Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Do Not Let Him Hide Behind His Collar"

Associated Press/Matt Rourke
By Ralph Cipriano

William J. Brennan, defense lawyer for Father Andrew McCormick, referred to his client's Roman Catholic priest 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 in his defense. Brennan conceded his client is "a bit of an awkward guy." Father Andy turned "beet red" on the witness stand, his lawyer admitted; the priest looked like "a deer in the headlights." But Brennan was hoping that jurors remembered what Father Andy had said, 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.

Father McCormick is accused of taking a 10-year-old altar boy up to his room 17 years ago in the rectory at St. John Cantius Church, and trying to force the boy into giving him oral sex.

His accuser is a 26-year-old gay man who's a business manager for a New York cosmetics firm. The alleged victim came forward in 2011, to tell his father, and then his grandfather that in 1997, when he was a 10-year-old altar boy, the priest attacked him.

The grandfather is a silver-haired former detective for the Philadelphia Police Department and Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, where he investigated sex abuse. He may have been retired, but when "Pop" heard what Father Andy allegedly did to his grandson, he took a statement and then he called the cops.

Father Andy, a priest for 32 years, was arrested and charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, indecent assault and corruption of a minor. The priest pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

In court today, defense lawyer Brennan began his closing statement by telling the jury he was not a
Tom Hagen kind of lawyer, the kind who represented only one client, Don Corleone. Brennan wanted the jury to know he did not represent the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and he had no relationship with the archdiocese, other than begin a Catholic.

To prove his point, Brennan took a few more shots at the officials over at archdiocese headquarters at 222 N. 17th St. Brennan talked about the "archdiocese mindset" where church officials stonewalled sexual abuse of children by the clergy for decades, possibly even centuries, Brennan said, before undergoing a "sea change" in 2005.

That year, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham published a grand jury report that exposed the depth of sexual abuse of children in the archdiocese by its own clergy. The report accused two Philadelphia archbishops, John Krol and Anthony J. Bevilacqua, of masterminding a systematic coverup spanning four decades that kept 63 abusive priests out of jail, even though they had raped and molested hundreds of innocent children.

After the 2005 grand jury report, Brennan said, the archdiocese changed its tune and immediately began throwing overboard any priest accused of sex abuse.

"They're not nice people," Brennan said of the church hierarchy. His implication was that the archdiocese had trampled on the constitutional rights of priests such as Father Andy, who was one of 26 priests suspended by the archdiocese in 2011. The suspensions followed another grand jury report in 2011 that said a couple dozen priests were still in active ministry, despite accusations involving sexual abuse, boundary violations, and other issues involving children.

"Regrettably it's a star chamber over there," Brennan said of the archdiocese.

Father Andy's suspension had "nothing to do with molestation," Brennan told the jury. The victim in this case waited some 15 years before coming forward. One day in 2011, the alleged victim was watching TV when he saw Father Andy's face flash on the screen, Brennan told the jury.

That night, Brennan recounted, the alleged victim "had a dream" that Father Andy was sexually assaulting the alleged victim's five-year-old nephew, and he couldn't do anything about it.

At 3 a.m. that morning, the alleged victim sent a text to his father saying that Father Andy had molested him. "Pop" showed up a day later to take a statement, and get the police investigation rolling.

Brennan's strategy seemed to be to put some distance between himself, his client, and the archdiocese, which has been tarred and feathered by a couple of highly critical grand jury reports. Brennan was also trying to humanize his stiff of a client by pointing out obvious foibles. Then the crafty heavyweight defense lawyer turned his attention to poking holes in the prosecution's case.

The defense had presented evidence that you'll have to consider when you're evaluating the credibility of the alleged victim, Brennan told the jury.

Associated Press/Matt Rourke
He brought up the "blue plaid boxer shorts" that the alleged victim claimed were worn 17 years ago by Father Andy. Brennan reminded the jury about the testimony of Mark Pasternak, the longtime maintenance man at St. John Cantius Church, in the Bridesburg section of the city. And how Pasternak had told the jurors about watching the church lady who for years did the priests' laundry in the basement of the rectory. The church lady laid out on a table piles of clean underwear that had name tags on it, for the three priests who lived and worked at St. John Cantius.

Pasternak "has no dog in this fight," Brennan told the jury. The longtime maintenance man testified "everybody wore tighty whities," Brennan said.

"Is this case going to rise and fall on what type of underwear Andy McCormick wears?" Brennan asked. "No." But he told the jury, "We [men] wear boxers or we wear briefs. You don't mix 'em up."

Next, Brennan brought up the black cassock that Father Andy habitually wore. The lawyer asked the jury to recall what the alleged victim had said on the witness stand about that cassock.

On the night he was attacked, the alleged victim testified, he couldn't stop staring at Father Andy's cassock. That cassock had 32 buttons on it, the victim said. During the attack, the alleged victim spent his time counting every button.

The alleged victim testified that a priest's cassock has 32 buttons on it, Brennan told the jury. "Never 33, because Jesus died at 33."

During the trial, Brennan got the priest's black cassock introduced as evidence. He issued an invitation to the jury.

"Take a look at the cassock and count the buttons," he said. It sounded like Brennan had already done it, and he was pretty confident about the result.

Beyond a reasonable doubt, Brennan kept saying. That was the prosecution's burden, and it was Brennan's job to bring to the jury's attention every other possible reasonable doubt in the case.

If Father Andy wanted to rape somebody, Brennan asked, why would he take them up to his room in the rectory that he shared with two other priests and a housekeeper?

"The kid could've screamed," Brennan said. He could have alerted the other priests and the housekeeper that there was a child rape in progress.

Brennan told the jury the alleged victim had many issues as a boy. He was coming to terms with his sexuality. "His parents' marriage was dissolving," Brennan said. The alleged victim started drinking at age 11; then he turned to drugs.

The alleged victim's story is that after he was attacked by Father Andy, he came downstairs and tried to call his mother three times on the rectory phone. When there was no answer, he walked home.

"He's remaining kind of in the belly of the beast" by making those phone calls, Brennan told the jury. Why didn't the victim run out of the rectory screaming?

In the years after the alleged attack, the alleged victim and his family stayed in contact with Father Andy, Brennan said. They even visited the priest at the parish he had been transferred to in Bucks County. Does that make any sense if what the alleged victim is claiming was true?

"The Commonwealth's trying to smoke and mirror you," Brennan told the jury. Ok, so maybe Father Andy gave another 13-year-old altar boy a beer in Poland, as was testified to during the trial.

"He probably shouldn't have done that," Brennan said. The altar boy, after all, was a minor. "But he's not on trial for that," the lawyer said about the priest.

Brennan walked from the jury box over to the defense table, where he stood next to Father Andy.

"If this guy's a pervert," he asked the jury, "Is that something you only do once?"

Brennan reminded the jury that during his 14 years at St. John Cantius, Father Andy had access to some 700 altar boys. In subsequent years, the priest had access to even more altar boys. Since he was suspended by the archdiocese in 2011, Brennan said, Father Andy's face has been plastered all over the news.

And yet, not one other victim has come forward, "Not even one of the nuts looking for a pay day," Brennan said.

Brennan reminded the jury that although the alleged victim in this case has not yet filed a civil suit against the archdiocese, "I don't know what he's gonna do tomorrow."

Brennan warned the jury that if people keep telling you, "It's not about the money, it's about the money."

He compared the victim's story to a pond covered with a sheet of thin ice. Don't go skating on thin ice, Brennan urged the jury. Don't swallow the "uncorroborated unsubstantiated" accusations of the alleged victim. Consider the reasonable doubt in the case. Find my client not guilty.

After Brennan sat down and the jury cleared the room, Assistant District Attorney Kemp stood to object. Kemp was upset about Brennan's claim that Father Andy's suspension by the archdiocese in 2011 had nothing to do with child abuse.

The prosecutor told the judge that a lie detector test administered to Father Andy had indicated deception when the priest was asked whether he touched the genitals of a child, and whether a child had touched his genitals.

Brennan countered that lie detector tests results are inadmissible in Pennsylvania criminal courts. He told the judge he believed the allegations leading to the priest's suspension were about pornography, but not child pornography.

Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright settled the matter by instructing the jury when they came back in the courtroom. Judge Bright told the jury that the defense lawyer's statement during his closing argument that child abuse was not the reason for Father Andy's suspension was not in evidence.
Associated Press/Matt Rourke

Assistant District Attorney Kemp stood in front of the jury and promptly tore into Brennan's argument that the actions of the alleged victim did not make any sense. She talked about Brennan's statements questioning why the victim didn't run out of the rectory. And the victim's statement that he  spent his time during the alleged attack counting the buttons on the priest's cassock.

"He's a 10 year old boy in shock," Kemp told the jury in an indignant tone. "There is no guidebook."

As an example, she described to the jury an incident that happened to her when she was a kid. She found a wasp on her hands, she said, and when the wasp started stinging her, she was too stunned to let go.

The wasp stung her 15 times, she said, before "they had to pry my hands apart."

During that time the wasp was stinging her, she said, she was staring at blinds and flowered curtains. Meanwhile, she kept her hands clasped.

She returned to behavior of the alleged victim on the night he was supposedly attacked.

He's a "10-year-old boy," she said. He's figuring, "I'm in trouble; I'll call my mother. It makes perfect sense."

"That is what shock does to you," she said. "Talking about sexual abuse isn't easy."

Kemp told the jury she had warned them during her opening statement that there would be only one victim  in this case.

"We have presented you with one of this man's victims," she said, pointing to Father Andy. But she hinted there may be others.

She talked about Philip Blazejewski, a defense witness who testified he was a 13-year-old altar boy when he traveled to Poland with Father Andy. While the priest and the other altar boy were in Poland, Kemp recounted to the jury, the former altar boy testified that Father Andy gave him some Polish beer.

"Philip is a 13 year-old boy," she told the jury. "Philip testified he doesn't remember what happened."

On cross-examination, Blazejewski, who had to dragged into court with a subpoena, told the prosecutor he couldn't remember much from the trip, including where he slept. The prosecutor skillfully pointed out that Blazejewski's mother was a staunch supporter of Father Andy. And that she had even sat in on a 2004 interview that Blazejewski, then a minor, had with an investigator from the archdiocese.

That testimony on cross-examination by Blazejewski prompted speculation from some courtroom observers that the former altar boy may have been covering up for the priest.

The defense's case, the prosecutor said, was not about truth. It was about "distractions" meant to divert attention from the truth. She brought up the defense arguments about soda and underwear.

One defense witness, Pasternak, the church's longtime maintenance man, testified that he only bought Coke, Pepsi and Stewart's Root Beer for the parish. The alleged victim had testified that on the night he was attacked, he had "two cookies and a Dr. Pepper" at the rectory.

Pasternak told the jury he never bought Dr. Pepper for the church, because the priests at St. John Cantius didn't like Dr. Pepper.

"The soda?" Kemp asked incredulously. "I mean come on. Or the underwear?"

Pasternak testified that when he saw the church lady doing the priests' laundry at St. John Cantius, Father Andy and the other priests all wore "tighty-whities."

"That was ridiculous," Kemp said of Pasternak's testimony. She ripped the defense team's decision to put Father Andy's 87-year-old mother on the stand. Mrs. McCormick told the jury she bought the priest's underwear for decades, and he wore only white briefs.

"Putting his mother on, that is ridiculous, that is offensive," she said. It's ridiculous to believe that a grown man in his 40s has "no other access to clothing" except the stuff that Mom buys for him.

Kemp reminded the jury that under the law, if the jury found the alleged victim's testimony credible, it was sufficient evidence to convict the priest.

The alleged victim testified that he started drinking at age 11, Kemp told the jury. He subsequently "moved up to narcotics and pills," Kemp said. The alleged victim came out as a gay man at 21, but "his abuse didn't stop," Kemp told the jury about the victim's problems with drugs and alcohol.

That drug and alcohol abuse didn't stop until 2011, when the victim "purged himself of that vile disgust inside him," Kemp told the jury.

"At a very young age tried to talk it out," she told the jury. She recounted the victim's testimony that when he was 11, he told a female cousin he had been abused. The cousin showed up in court to testify that the alleged victim had told he was molested, but he didn't say by whom.

As a senior at Archbishop Ryan High School, the alleged victim had told classmates and a teacher that he had been molested. Again, he didn't provide any further details. But a classmate who was a Marine in uniform showed up in court to testify that he remembered the alleged victim's startling confession.

"He was trying to cope with the abuse," Kemp said of the victim. She turned her argument to Father Andy's "grooming behavior" when it came to another former altar boy who testified for the prosecution, Adam Visconto.

Visconto testified that Father Andy had showered him with unwanted attention and tried to take him on a trip to Poland. His mother objected, and told the priest to stay away from her son.

Adam Visconto subsequently saw Father Andy at a funeral Mass after the priest had left St. John Cantius. At the funeral, Father Andy asked Adam and another altar boy to meet him down in the church basement. The boy told his mother, and then, he didn't show up.

"I have no idea what would have happened if Adam went down into that basement," Kemp told the jury. "I thank God he didn't go there."

Kemp talked about how Father Andy kept inviting altar boys up to his room in the rectory, even though he had been twice reprimanded for that conduct by the archdiocese.

"No, you don't have enough explanation for that," she said about Father Andy's excuse that one of those times he had an altar boy in his room, the boy was helping him move.

"That is grooming," she said of the priest's persistent behavior.

The prosecutor walked over to the witness stand, sat down, and stared at the jury.

"I want you to remember when [the alleged victim] sat here and how painful it was," she said. She repeated what the alleged victim's grandfather had told the jury, "This was never about money."

"What has [the alleged victim] gained from this process," she asked. He's had to come to court and tell strangers about "the most vile experience of his life."

Kemp told a story about a senior staffer in the district attorney's office who had mentored her. In one training session, the senior staffer told all the young attorneys in the room to prepare themselves, because in ten minutes, she was going to ask each one of them to stand up and tell everybody about their first sexual experience.

Kemp said her immediate reaction was to "turn bright red."

When the ten minutes was up, the senior staffer said she wasn't going to make anybody tell their stories. But she did want the young lawyers to realize that they now had "a small inkling" of what it's like for a victim to take the witness stand, and tell his story.

"You saw that pain," Kemp said, reminding the jury of the victim's tearful testimony. The victim's mother, Kemp said, "she blames herself." That's because the victim's mother said on the witness stand that she made the mistake of telling the priest before the attack that mom suspected her son was gay.

"Do you actually think he [the alleged victim] would do this to his own family" if it wasn't true, Kemp asked.

"He is the one with the motive" to lie, she said pointing at Father Andy. People like Father Andy, "They're charismatic people that hide behind their positions," Kemp said. "You hold him accountable for what he did."

"Do not let him hide behind his collar," Kemp said of Father Andy. "Say to [the alleged victim] he did the right thing in coming forward. Tell his mother it's not her fault."

"Tell him [the victim] the nightmare is over."

In the packed courtroom, the alleged victim was sitting in the same row with his mother, father and grandfather. Both the victim and his mother were sobbing.

The courtroom was also packed with Father Andy's supporters. They included three nuns in full habit who belong to a Franciscan order based in Krakow.

After court was adjourned, Father Andy and the nuns prayed the rosary out in the hallway.

When they were through, one of the nuns spoke to a reporter about Father Andy.

"He's a beautiful person," Sister Jacinta Miryam Hanley, provincial superior of the Sister Servants of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, told Maryclaire Dale of the Associated Press.

"He's a very chaste person, in speech and action. So [the charges are] totally foreign to his character."

While the nuns were praying the rosary, the jury was behind closed doors, beginning their deliberations. The met for a couple of hours before adjourning for the day. They'll be back at it tomorrow, when court resumes at 9:30 a.m.


  1. victim's tears = theatrics.

    1. flying nuns = theatrics

    2. Was pops in the audience or did he not want any part of the last act

    3. His grandfather that was to his left or his father that was to his right? Continue to make no sense, I'm certain its helping the case... Doubtful anyone present wouldnt feel the pain in the room. Botom line - found guilty or innocent.. every person, even the clowns sitting beind Andrew, will think twice before allowing him access to children. That alone was the goal, and after closing arguments the goal was met.

  2. Its about the money Brennan states.

    What money ?

    A suspended priest who most likely does not have two plug nickles to rub together, and an archdiocese who is already 400 million dollars in debt.

    Its about justice. Its about protecting other children.

  3. I wish I had a grandfather who called the cops. Ours didn't. But for good reasons nevertheless. He did not plunge our family into a grave turmoil. And I thank him for that.

    1. Thats very sad, Sarah. Everyone should have family that'll go to bat for them no matter how big or small. I'll pray for you.

    2. FYI-Sarah is NOT an abuse victim-she has said that in the past.

    3. So she has no idea what she's talking about is what your're saying, Josie? None of you do. I figured she wasn't a victim judging by her ignorance. I'll pray for you both, that no one you love ever has to go thru something like this...especially with people like you and her grandfather in their corner..

    4. Josie,

      I know why she is here. Do You ? I have never read anything from Sarah claiming to be a abuse victim.

      On your best day you could never fill her shoes. You want someone to genuflect to there you go. Don't ever mention her name again unless she addresses you first. You don't have a heart big enough

  4. Kristen compares her own experience about the shock of being told to describe their own first sexual experience to a group of fellow ADA's given the same order too and how her face turned red with that of the victim at a trial describing the abuse. Yet she says nothing about Father McCormick's face turning red during testimony as if that is evidence of his guilt vice the pressure of having to testify.

    Little things do matter during a trial and those add up. The color of underwear the priest wore, the soda consumed at the parish and the rating of the film the priest took the boys to see. When you get the rating of the film wrong and get upstaged by the defense attorney who has the DVD of it with him, you are literally cooked.

    The problem I have with the alleged rape is the lack of screaming by the victim in the rectory which would have attracted attention and the not telling the family what had happened on the day it happened plus the Pennsylvania State Legislature allowing sexual abuse victims to file charges for abuse happening decades past which will bring potentially a flood of false accusations against the people accused of such for prosecutors to work with. It is very difficult to prosecute circumstantial evidence cases. We do have people report abuse right away and the abuser is successfully prosecuted - that is what matters the most when victims speak up vice remaining silent. There is a mass transit advertisement that shows vehicles belonging to SEPTA and PATCO and the word is speak up when you see

    No abuse victim should have to suffer but when one holds the alleged abuse too long,m it makes it more difficult to prosecute the offender. The ADA tries to lump the priest with abuses committed by all other priests in the past and that does not cut the mustard as you cannot light a fire under the church and point to it as responsible for abuse done by all priests and ask the jury to assume this priest is guilty of rape.

    Attorney Brennan has given a statement befitting the climax of a good movie. Now it will be up to the jury to take all the facts and make a decision.

    Prediction - acquittal. More than 700 altar boys handled by this priest and not one of them complained about being abused with the exception of the victim who did. The victim did not get his stories straight about the color of the priest's underwear and buttons on his cassock. Plus the allegations of it happening in his room is so far fetched as there would have been screaming which would have attracted attention of other priests and house keepers. Even more glaring is the insinuation by the ADA about an R-rated film the priest took the altar boys until she was corrected by the defense attorney that the movie was PG rated.

    If found guilty, then one can assume the priest was found guilty because of the collective sins of the church and that would be called a miscarriage of justice by the jury. This would not help victims of sexual abuse if anyone is free to file false charges of abuse against anyone.

    1. Were you molested as a child? That's how you know that the child would have had to scream? You sound ridiculous. "Father" should have never taken them to a PG 13 movie either, never have given them alcohol, never lead them to his room repeatively...You have no clue...Kinda creepy that it was only possible for his mommy to get him his undies...give me a break! You forgot about the suspension..Not surprisingly..Pornography and two lie detector deceptions about touching childrens gentials... no big deal I guess

    2. Hey James...give the assistant district attorney the respect she has earned...calling her by her first if she were a transparent. You may not agree with her argument...but give her the same respect you give to the male attorney. Your motives are transparent. Her name is ADA Kemp...she's earned the title.

    3. Yes, one of Seth's puppets....

    4. ^^one up..definitely one of the sheeple @ 1:38

  5. Even more glaring is that the Inky printed nothing about the closing comments andthe referral of the case to the jury.

    1. That's what your priority is ? If a newspaper did an article on the case.

      I will assume if found guilty it was because of the evidence presented. Same if found innocent was because the lack of evidence.

      But, I would not say the jury performed some miscarriage of justice.

      I am so glad you know what is BEST for us sexual abuse victims. I would like to tell you what I think is best.

      How many times has McCormick been thinking, if I only listened about not bringing boys to my room ?

      I hope if things do not go McCormick's way, his mother stocked up on underware.. He may need it once he starts meeting his new friends.

    2. The abuse you mentioned happened to you has never been proven. Keep proclaiming you are for the victims

    3. Dennis - all your commenting on is what you read online. you have not once set foot in the courtrooms to witness for yourself the theatrics the DA's office puts on. There's a reason you keep returning to Ralph's blog and that is to understand what really is going on in the trial. you know the inky and the other media outlets would never be able to write what ralph does b/c of the limitations today's writers have. If you were ever able to take the blinders off and see what is really being done to citizens of the united states and the violation of their rights you might be come to understand the true nature of abuse. It's not just sexual abuse, it's abuse of power that the DA himself has decided is his ticket to further his political career. And with the help of the FOP (you don't think this kids grandfather didn't use his connections) all men who wear a collar are fair game.

    4. Here we go again. Once again anonymous saying he knows about my past, and another who says I have not been in the courtrooms. I will say I have not gone in this case but if this individual or individuals knows so much about me please tell me what stocks I'm suppose to invest in, or how about the day I'm going to die. Can I expect you to say something about my mother, wife or how about my 7 y.o. daughter ?

      WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO ACCEPT I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE ? After this trial ends no matter what the outcome I will be there for the Brennan re-trial, I will be there for that idiot from the YMCA if his case goes to trial. I am that ugly scar on the archdiocese of Philadelphia that will never go away. You can believe it or not but I am the scar your fr.hermley created.

      You don't like the way the citizens of the U.S. are treated then pack your bags and find a place were the grass is greener, you are most likely living off my dime anyway.

    5. i wouldn't sink as low as you in bringing your immediate family into it. that is your job and you are doing a fine job of pointing out just who you are and what you are about.

      Your trying to be that bully from the playground from your youth. only you are doing it from behind a keyboard. your words and thoughts are a waste of time. your tactics here are definitely not what you write on other blogs.

      oh and off your dime? the 9/11 medical scandal hasn't found its way to your doorstep yet?

    6. I am the bully on the playground ? I am no bully and this is no playground. Lives on both sides of the table have been put at risk. McCormick's life of spending time in prison and a family who after this trial will most likely be ostracized by its own church. We already know how your church teaches the hatred of people towards people like this victim, not only because of this case but because of his chosen way of life.

      You continue to believe I am not someone I claim to be, but you also think once this trial is over the pain goes away. It does not. I live it everyday just like any other survivor does.


  6. In reference to the lie detector test that was administered and mccormick failed both defense attorneys protested to its inadmissibility however if mccormcik passed the lie detector test would brennan and fuschino not try to use the passing results to the best interest of their client ?

  7. I think that a tearful mother in front of a majority-woman jury is an emotional barrier that is nearly impossible for a defendant to overcome, and I think that is a major reason that the D.A. took this case (including the obvious fact that the guy is a priest).

  8. Hello Dave Pierre. In case no one is aware Mr. Pierre in this gate-keeper of another blog called The Media Report. His motto is Separating Fact from Fiction. His last few articles have been on how society especially the media look upon the catholic church, and he recently has done some stories on so-called false accusations of priests.

    We can all see by his comment he believes the defendant maybe convicted not by evidence but the tears of a mother to a majority female jury. Is that one of those statements that means a woman cannot do a job as well as a man ? Or is that following the teachings of his church ? I will let Dave and Gloria whatever her last name is to battle that out.

    I truly like how he ends his comment by saying "including the obvious fact that the guy is a priest"

    Unlike Ralph Cipriano who has authored other stories on the mob, the L&I Department, Dave Pierre blog deals only with matters pertaining to the catholic church.

    Now the reason why I like his above statement is Dave Pierre is saying and believes a man maybe convicted of a crime simply because he is a priest. However, on this date at 9:00 AM Dave has failed to write one word about McCormicks plight. Instead his latest story is about the PBS special about the Vatican that was on a week ago.

    p.s. James before asking questions why media has not reported on this case, look in your backyard and ask them first.

  9. Another rambling, pointless post from Ecker.
    Keep up the sterling work, Dave. And, I agree: on reason, "It's not there." But a 9 woman jury is prone to mom's on-cue tearful melodrama. The prospect of a nice payday is enough to bring tears to anyone's eyes.

  10. The prospect of a nice payday is enough to bring tears to anyone's eyes.

  11. Chippy111,

    You asked me on the previous blog if there is anything I can say to defend McCormick ? That would be the lie detector test. I believe the machines can be beat. They are not fool-proof. Besides, if I am to believe or even consider the test for throwing someone in a cage that means McCormick gets thrown in and Avery's cage door is opened.

    Remember there was reports of Avery passing his test, but then he admits to child abuse.

    1. now your an expert in lie detectors and how they can be beat. hopefully the DA puts you on the stand as an expert witness. is there anything you cannot do?

    2. Dennis - taking a plea deal and admitting abuse are two different things. As you know from Ralph's previous article, Sarmina never asked the question to Avery. You also know Avery showed up in the previous trial and recanted. You spin it however way you want, I just go on the facts in the articles.

    3. Chippy - you're 100% right.

  12. There are a variety of instances in which you may be subjected to a polygraph, or lie detector examination. These tests can be a source of tremendous anxiety, especially since it is all too common for innocent people to fail them for no reason, resulting in the denial of employment or false criminal accusations. Why? Because polygraphs are far from perfect. In fact, many experts consider them a farce, and almost all scientists who have studied them (and even some polygraph administrators) understand that polygraphs are seriously limited. Fortunately, for this very reason they are easy to trick.


    I extend my apology to the slow member of the group. Maybe I should have said in my opinion I believe lie detectors can be beat. I am not an expert when it comes to polygraph tests. Sorry if I confused anyone else besides this individual. (I know why at least you wants to go by anonymous)

    1. at least give the author of the article his due -

      you sure are an expert at google search and copy/paste

      do you have any thoughts that are your own? anything "you wants" to add?

    2. plagiarism... Reminds me of the movie Good Will Hunting

  13. Chippy111

    Here is some more plagiarism:

    Posted: March 22, 2012

    A defrocked Philadelphia priest pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy, four days before he and two priests were to face the start of a landmark trial about clergy sex-abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia


    Don't trip over the words of Mr. Martin. "Pleaded GUILTY to sexually assaulting a 10 year old altar boy"

    ....and your damn right I'm good at that copy/paste.

    Someone told me once if you have those statements from others you don't have to be Hemingway.

    1. I'm sorry do I need to help you back on your feet ?

    2. Let me slam the door on you. Before you ever address me with something you think is fact make sure you are able to back it up.


      "In exchange for your please of guilty, your attorneys and the Commonwealth's attorney have agreed to a sentence of not less than two-and-a-half and no more than five years would be imposed," said Judge M. Teresa Sarmina. "Is that your understanding of the negotiations?"

      "Yes, it is is, Your Honor," Avery said.

      The judge then outlines that involuntary deviate sexual intercourse is a first-degree felony, carrying a maximum penalty of not less than 10 years, and not more than 20 years, while endangering the welfare of a child is a third-degree felony punishable by between 3 1/2 to 7 years.

      If the two sentences were served consecutively, Avery would be facing a maximum possible sentence of 13 1/3 to 27 years in prison, the judge told Avery. "Do you understand that?"

      "I do, Your Honor," Avery replied.

      "Do you think, sir, that you have to plead guilty in this case, or is that something you've discussed and decided to do?" Judge Sarmina asked the defendant.

      "It's something I have discussed and decided to do," Avery said.

      "Have any promises or representations been made to you by anyone to get you to plead guilty other than what you've heard me state here in open court in front of everyone?" the judge asked.

      "No, they have not," Avery said.

      "Did anybody pressure you or threaten you in any way in order to get you to plead guilty?" the judge asked.

      "No, they did not," Avery said.

      "Are you pleading guilty of your own free will?"

      "I am, Your Honor," the defendant said.

      "Whose decision was it for you to plead guilty, Mr. Avery?" the judge asked.

      "My own," Avery said.

      The judge asked the prosecutor to read "the elements of the offenses to which you are entering your pleas of guilty." The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Patrick Blessington, read the accusations involving the alleged oral intercourse Avery engaged in with the 10-year-old altar boy, as well as charges that between 1992 and 2003, Avery agreed with Lynn and other archdiocese of Philadelphia employees and officials to "engage in a course of conduct" that endangered the welfare of children

    3. Once again, agreeing to a plea deal and actually answering the question if you abused Dan Gallagher are two different things. You plagiarized the lie detector website as your own words then go all out by forwarding things we already read.

      On Friday afternoons I go about my life, leaving blogging and the Dennis Eckers of the world in my rear view mirror. That is why you got no response the other day, not because of your nonsense.

      Know this one thing. The only time on record that Avery was asked if he abused Gallagher he said he did not.

  14. Please point out to me where he is asked if he ever abused Daniel Gallagher specifically?

    He plead guilty to avoid going to trial where he knew past accusations against him would be allowed. He escaped with 2.5 years when he could have been sent away for life.

    Anything else "you wants" to try and prove?

    1. Chippy -

      As you know, Avery was forced by Sarmina's prosecution friendly rulings to take the sweetheart deal offered by the Chubby Cheshire Cat to avoid a much longer prison term. Avery did not molest Billy Doe, nor did father Engelhardt, nor did Bernie Shero. The trial was a complete sham.

      Sarmina's agenda has clearly been shown (thanks to the Superior Court). She should have been transferred to a tennis court rather than to the civil court.

    2. Anonymous,

      Chippy walked away from his computer. He is doing either two things. Cursing me under his breath or saying "dah, Dennis is right"

  15. LOL,LOL, C'mon I have to get up in the middle of the night enough to go to the bathroom, LOL, I don't need you to help that along by making me laugh so hard. LOL.

    You know I have to share this comment with many others.

    One question though if you want to answer. Are you happy that Avery was able to ESCAPE (your words) the other accusations that could have put him away for life ?

    1. Gotcha. Know your kicking yourself as your rebuttal was short and not attacking as is your typical modis operandi. All you will be doing is laughing at the truth. Please do share, if you need Avery's address let me know too. I'm sure he would like to hear what I said.

  16. So, let's see if I got this latest one right: another actively gay guy claims a Catholic priest abused him 15 years ago and the trauma of that experience was so horrendous that he crawled out the other side of a life of alcohol and drug abuse, but, somehow wasn't dissuaded from pursuing the gay lifestyle? Is that right? Then, he tells his grandpappy sex squad detective who takes juniors statement before filing a report with the police?

    And, this wasn't laughed out of the precinct (full of grandpappy's buds) or the DAs office, full of Seth/Sarmina cronies?

    This is a joke, right?

  17. Another day has ended and the fate of McCormick is unknown while the jury puts him and this case in the back of their minds if only for a short time.

    It must be a sad and sickening feeling not knowing what is going to happen next. The fact complete strangers have your entire future in their hands by simply saying one of two words. Guilty or innocent.

    You wish there is someone there to help you, you wish you will hear a knock on a door or a telephone to ring to make it all go away.

    I have no idea what McCormick is thinking, But these are some of the things that went threw my mind and I will take a bet many other victims across this world. The fear of not knowing what will happen next, the only difference it was not a stranger who decided my fate.

    Maybe and only maybe one day I might contact Ralph to help me put into words the events leading up to my abuse, the abuses themselves, how my family members dealt with it and even why I started to do what I am doing now. The diary of Dennis Ecker.

    1. I doubt anyone would care to read what you have to say

    2. We can figure out the Ecker story for ourselves: if it is true, no one did anything in your family to protect a child, their child, and every child victimized thereafter from predators. That is where the prosecution should start. Anything after that is ancillary, and highly suspect of being motivated by greed.

    3. Anonymous - I would have to disagree. I think if I took on a venture like that YOU would be the first to read it. You read everything I write here when there is those up and down scroll buttons that would allow you to pass right on by.

      Why is that ?

      Its sad your not man or woman enough to use your real name I would mention your name.

  18. ....and there is JAE popping his head out. I wonder if he seen his shadow ? JAE is there going to be six more weeks of winter ?

  19. Dennis - truly a his own mind.

  20. Oh I get it. A spoof on the word legend. Ha,Ha,Ha everybody is laughing at Dennis now.

    Son, give yourself a break.

  21. I have not been on this blog for a long time, and now I remember why. It's the same old song, over and over: Because he's a priest, he probably didn't do it, the victim just wants the money victim bashing as in the abused is an addict (NOW, I just can't imagine how that happened..) Does not anyone, but a few (you know who your are) care about the abused, defenseless victims? These people are crying out for help, and very few in the AOP will help or even acknowledgement that it.happened. Please give them some respect.

    Below is a quote from a post above. It sums up the climate on here:

    ."If found guilty, then one can assume the priest was found guilty because of the collective sins of the church and that would be called a miscarriage of justice by the jury. This would not help victims of sexual abuse if anyone is free to file false charges of abuse against anyone"

    1. Anonymous 1:39

      Thank You for those kind words.

      Sir/Miss I am one who is not looking for pity because of what happened to me. The majority of those who post here who call us the bigots, or anti-Catholic church haters they are the ones who should receive the pity. They cannot see what is happening in front of their own faces.

      They fail to see survivors like me are the ones who are now protecting their children because they fail to do so.

      As far as respect. Like you I earned respect. I am respected by friends, family, and community. I am respected by individuals who even may not agree with what I do or say regarding the clergy sexual abuse matter. I don't want respect shown to me by a bunch of individuals who have no clue what the word means, or someone who believes simply because someone wears a white collar they should receive respect.

      I especially like the last paragraph (I believe written by James) if McCormick is found guilty, I will take a guess he means any priest who is found guilty it is a miscarriage of justice by the jury.

      I refer you back to the first sentence of your comment. No Sir/Miss nothing has changed, and its a damn shame.

      Once again thank you for caring.

  22. @anonymous 1:39AM

    horse feathers!

  23. Anyone happen to see retired (and expired) ex-judge DeFino's ghost in the courtroom today?


Thoughtful commentary welcome. Trolling, harassing, and defaming not welcome. Consistent with 47 U.S.C. 230, we have the right to delete without warning any comments we believe are obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing, or otherwise objectionable, whether or not such material is constitutionally protected.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.