Friday, April 10, 2015

D.A. Waves White Flag On Father Andy

D.A. Gives Up
By Ralph Cipriano

District Attorney Seth Williams has decided not to retry Father Andrew McCormick a third time for the alleged attempted rape of a former 10-year-old altar boy.

In a brief appearance today before Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright, Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp tersely announced that the D.A. would not retry the case.

Twice in the last 14 months, the district attorney had brought the case to trial. And twice the end result was a mistrial after both juries wound up hopelessly deadlocked.

At today's brief hearing, Trevan Borum, Father Andy's defense lawyer, asked the judge to lift a gag order in the case. But even though there's no future jury pool to worry about tainting, the judge told Kemp and Borum that she wanted her gag order to remain in efffect until April 16th. Later the judge changed her mind and announced she would rule Monday on Borum's motion to lift the gag order.

In the absence of official comment, one loyal member of the "Friends of Father Andy" support group  said the D.A.'s decision to finally give up was a "long time coming, especially when there is no evidence."

In a last desperate move while the jury was still deliberating, ADA Kemp had offered Father Andy a sweetheart deal. If the priest would plead guilty to a single charge, corrupting the morals of a minor, he would receive no jail time, four years probation, and not even have to register as a sex offender under Megan's Law.

Corrupting the morals of a minor was the least of the five charges that D.A. Williams had filed against Father Andy. The priest was also charged with: involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, and indecent assault on the child.

If convicted on all the charges, the 59-year-old priest was looking at 25 to 50 years in jail. But Father Andy turned down the deal, according to sources, telling Kemp that pleading guilty to any of the charges would be a lie because he was innocent.

There was no physical evidence in the case nor any corroborating witnesses. Only the accusations of a former altar boy who came forward 14 years after the alleged crime to accuse the priest of attacking him in the rectory of St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg.

The most effective prosecution witness was a retired Philadelphia police detective who took the first statement from the victim in the case; a retired detective who was also the former altar boy's grandfather.

Father Andy did not take the stand during his most recent trial that ended in a deadlocked jury on March 11. In the previous trial that deadlocked on March 12, 2004, the priest did take the stand, but the result was a disaster. Willliam J. Brennan, the priest's defense lawyer at the time, admitted to the jury that Father Andy was an awkward guy who turned beet red on the witness stand and generally looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

Before the accusation against Father Andy became public in 2011 the priest had been pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Swedesburg, Montgomery County, since 2004. He remains on administrative leave, meaning he can't administer the sacraments publicly or present himself as a priest in good standing. The archdiocese didn't contribute a dollar to Father Andy's defense, leaving the priest and his family to fend for themselves.

But on every day of both trials, Father Andy's support group was there, loyal former parishioners and a couple of nuns in full habit who often prayed the rosary.

In the most recent trial, the alleged victim's grandfather looked weary when asked whether his family was willing to deal with rigors of a third jury trial.

On the witness stand, the alleged victim had testified that his sole reason for coming forward against Father Andy was to spare another boy the trauma of what he went through. He was not in it for the money, he said.

The D.A.'s last attempt at a plea bargain, however, made a mockery of any claim that the D.A. was prosecuting Father Andy to protect the safety of children. The priest could have copped a plea that would have resulted in no jail time and he wouldn't have even had to register as a sex offender.

But to D.A. Williams, the case against Father Andy wasn't about protecting children. It was about political grandstanding, and winning at any cost.


  1. It was winning at all costs, regardless of the money spent. It took 24 people in two grand juries to deadlock on the charges in the span of 365 days in between. The judge in Philly Com kept the gag order until APRIL 16th, not May 16th unless that was what she actually said. Most likely the Archdiocese will have to pay Father McCormick's legal bills for the two trials and there is zilch chance of the civil trial happening since there was no guilt verdict uttered at the two trials. Victim filed a suit demanding civil trial, but there is no chance he will win because he has no credible proof of sexual abuse to argue as the priest walked free after two hung trials when DA dropped the case.

    Bottom line, Father McCormick has zero chance of getting an assignment to another parish as he will always be a marked target for opportunistic children apt to level false charges against him. He will get assignment to priest's retirement home. Lesson to be learned is to always keep your professional distance from children and never invite a child to your room in the rectory. Sadly, the days of interaction between priests and children are gone, replaced by the need to protect oneself from false charges being leveled against them.

    1. You must be a young child. There was this guy named O.J. Simpson who was found not guilty of murder in a court of law. However, the family of a man he was accused of killing filed a civil suit and won $ 40,000,000.

      Have your parents tell you the story.

    2. The diocese does not reimburse priests for legal fees; they are left to hang in the wind. When they are placed on leave, the diocese never concerned itself where any of them were to live and many had less than 8 hours to pack and find a place.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


    Just in case the resident bigots need a reminder of what actual pedophilia looks like and how liberal activist politicians react- depending upon who are the victims and the perps-

    Finally, a smart decision out of the Philly DAs office.

  4. Ralph, did the victim say that he is going to file a civil suit against Father Andy?

    1. Remember. There is no "victim," only an "accuser."

      Ralph reported that the accuser testified that he was well off financially and was not seeking to sue.

      But I would never be surprised if he had a "change of mind."

  5. Hallelujah!

    This is a case that never would have seen the inside of a courtroom except for the fact that McCormick is a Catholic priest.

  6. Although I do not agree with the decision by the District Attorney not to seek a retrial of Mr. Andrew McCormick I do respect it. You will not hear from me excuses of why McCormick has not been found guilty as we heard from those of the pro-pedophile group who came up with all different kinds of reasons why other priests have been found guilty from corrupt jurors to corrupt judges.

    I do believe Mr. McCormick will never enter a catholic church again with the title of priest. The archdiocese will most likely phase him away to a facility like those in Childs, Maryland and the friends of Andrew McCormick will be counting their lucky stars the District Attorneys office is truly giving him a gift of not worrying about a retrial since the petition they started could not even meet a quarter of the 1000 signatures they requested.

    If a civil suit is filed will be up to the victim. Is there enough evidence to do so ? Yes. Being told not to allow children in his room, testimony of a mother who told McCormick to stay away from her child and he did not, and let us not forget supplying children with alcohol while in Poland.

    So maybe McCormick legal problems are truly not over.

    1. To Anonymous 7:35 pm....lets be clear on one thing, the petition reached the level that it did because it was not in writing form and there are elderly parishioners and younger people alike that would sign a paper petition in a heartbeat versus an online petition. The world is so twisted that people are sometimes afraid to put personal information on a computer because hackera can get to it. I can tell you this as one of those who is weary of personal information online! I can also tell you as a person who already has 213. Names on a paper petition in the event that they would have forced a retrial. Lets be clear that 213 names were from 1 parish at 1 saturday mass, not the 3 other parishes at All the masses.

    2. @anonymous 7:35.

      IMHO, this kid fabricated the assault to explain away why he was pulling out his hair and hanging nooses in closets. He was most probably conflicted over the gradual realization that he was gay and dreaded his family's anticipated reaction. So why not blame a Catholic priest for this inner turmoil??

      The business of watching the priest unbutton all 33 of the cassock's buttons stands out in my mind as one outrageous lie. Anyone who has worn a cassock will tell you that no one ever unbuttons all the buttons - just about 10 at the top. Apparently this made an impression on this jury as their first request was to inspect the cassock.

      And in the very unlikely event of a civil trial, the kid's repeated testimonies (in both criminal trials) will most certainly come back to haunt him.

      It will be interesting hearing what the attorneys have to say as well as any members of the jury who have the moxie to come forward.

      The only 'gift' that the DA gave anyone was to the taxpayers in Philadelphia who were spared the expense of another pointless trial in the DA's unholy quest for higher office.

    3. I know catholics are not the brightest crayon in the box, but to see an excuse while people won't even sign a petition. I could even get 235 signatures from catholics saying I am the most devout and holy catholic on the face of this earth. LOL.

    4. Civil trial will be just as rigorous as criminal trial. Not sure victim wants to through that.

    5. To convict in the criminal court, the case against the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

      In a civil case the burden of proof only needs to be preponderance of the evidence. I would say if the victim does file he has a better chance of 80% of winning.

      The attorney in the case will most likely name the archdiocese of Philadelphia as a defendant along with McCormick. In cases like this you want to sue everyone and anyone and most important who has the deeper pockets, and since we know McCormick does not have two plug nickels to rub together. Well, you know the rest.

      Rigorous wrong. It would be a cake walk compared to the criminal trial.

  7. Underneath Seth Williams photograph Ralph states "D.A. Gives up" I wonder what he would have said if Seth Williams filed for a retrial ?

    Instead of "D.A. Gives up" it should read D.A. shows mercy.

    1. Mercy mercy me. I think it's far more likely that the family wasn't up to a retrial and/or the DA figured they couldn't win it.

      There's nothing merciful about putting innocent men in jail, which this DA has already done.

    2. How come we did not see your name on the petition for McCormick ? Have some doubts ?

    3. Don't usually sign petitions. Have always been a registered independent. So people like you have less ammo.

    4. I will respect that. But sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is and stand-up for what you believe. You showed a poor example to the pro McCormick group. Be honest Ralph your only in it for the money ?

      You could really care less about McCormick, Engelhardt, Shero, Avery, Williams, and Billy Doe ? You cannot say you have any trouble sleeping at night except for that during the middle of the night pee call.

  8. Where's Seth's neck?

  9. Not having all the facts means impaired judgement. Which is probably why so many Catholics online don't really know what they are talking about.

    1. Sounds like the majority of the people who post a comment to this blog. See that Rev. Jae and JB. Anonymous @ 6:12 is talking about you.

    2. Appears as though Anon @6:12 and Anon @2:49 are the same Anon- once again, we have the insanity (and dishonesty) of commenters responding to their own poorly (similarly) grammatically constructed and presented versions of 'facts'.

      The problem with he prosecution (and persecution) of Catholic priests is, unlike in any other segment of US jurisprudence, it has nothing to do with facts or evidence to establish facts; its all about persecuting traditional, faithful Catholics and their priests for their unpopular conservative ideology, which is in direct conflict with secular-progressive ideology.

      Now, those are facts, in case you were wondering what they actually look like.

  10. All along I have been saying that this particular case was never about protecting children but rather about Williams winning at any cost. I am glad to have Ralph confirm my beLief. The DA showed that they are not interested in the truth. As far as the above commentator who suggested that the title of the article could be "DA shows Mercy" shows that he or she is unaware how ruthless Williams is. He cut his losses at this point. There is no mercy in the man...and even worse. .. no respect for the truth.

  11. U have the hated version how u wanna comprehend it. U have the Catholic version how u wanna comprehend it .Then theres Seth Williams version of the cases he presented to the courts for prosecution based on wittness testimony which at times seemed questionable. Father Andy won.t be tried again and only him and the victim will really know for sure what happened. The others were found guilty by there peers and yes some of the wittness testimony and prosecution tactics questionable. But the higher courts seen no reason to change verdict. Therefore these priest will do there time. Them and the victims will meet the maker some day and if u believe which i do will be Judged by him.
    We as a Society need to find a better
    way of getting facts. The church and the Law need to work together getting the proper information so that people like us don.t question every damn thing we don.t agree with present it so theres no gray area. This will only happen if the facts and the cases are investigated throughly. Also the other problem these cases happened so long ago that it makes trying these cases with lack of evidence harder therefore leading to mistrials and opening the door for a civil suit. Till these loopholes are addressed people like us will agree to disagree with how cases are tryed. Then theres the other problem for us if u hate and can.t see the forrest through the trees theres no fixing that no matter what religion u are. And for the one hater hear i dont need meds. Lol

    1. Once again we see JB taking his meds. How fluent his comments can be to were they make some sort of sense. He however still fails to see the big picture. The way society perceives the catholic church and its parishioners. I see an organization who put the safety of children at the bottom of the list while putting abusive clergy at the top by lying, hiding and protecting its abusive clergy.

      I am a firm believer you do not automatically receive respect or trust, you must earn it. This is not something that will go away a year from now or twenty years from now, because as much as catholics would like to put the torture of what happened behind them, there will be people like me or others who feel if what happened is ever forgotten history will have a tendency to repeat itself.

      I don't have the answers. I have read different ideas from removing clergy from the daily operation of the church to putting body cams on every priest. I don't know if this is true but I also heard of two excommunicated bishops breaking away and starting a totally separate catholic church.

      I do know one thing though. This is not only a catholic problem, this problem now belongs to everyone since the catholic church CANNOT be trusted to police their own house.

    2. "This is not only a catholic problem, this problem now belongs to everyone since the catholic church CANNOT be trusted to police their own house."

      To make this statement factual, lets try this ".....this problem belongs to everyone since the public schools, synagogues, mosques, protestant denominations and all other sectors of life that intersect with children CANNOT be trusted to police their own house".

      And, we'll believe that the anti-Catholic bigots really mean what they say when they say they only have the best interest of children 'at heart' when we see the same resources being spent to 'police' these other facilities and organizations as are spent on persecuting Catholics.

      Until then, you are nothing more than lying bigots..

    3. So true Jae and a leopard can t change its spots. There worthless Jae got nothing but hate and it will bite them some day thats a given.


    Its True.

    1. Wow, Anon@12:12, and that never happened before- super 'revelation' there.

      How do you think that 'reformed church' (obviously one that is particularly hostile to Catholics-heh?) to which you belong, began?

      The SPs certainly achieved their goals when they set out the collapse of freedom in the US by first infiltrating our educational system to promote their loser leftist incredibly dumb-downed ideology, for which America has been so richly awarded the past two generations (snark)- yes?

      Aside from your palpable hatred of all things Catholic, what does your link have to do with the abuse of minors?


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.