Local Priest Charged with Sexually Assaulting 10-Year-Old Altar Boy
Father Andrew McCormick, former pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Swedesburg, is charged with sexually assaulting the boy in 1997.
According to 6ABC Action News, Father Andrew McCormick, who was pastor of Sacred Heart Church in nearby Swedesburg until he was placed on administrative leave in March of last year, is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old boy in 1997 while he was pastor of St. John Cantius Church in Bridesburg.
The Times Herald reports that the 56-year-old McCormick, who now lives in Pottstown, was arrested by Philadelphia Police on Thursday, July 25, and is being charged with indecent sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, sexual assault, indecent assault, indecent exposure, endangering the welfare of a child and corruption of a minor.
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams told Action News that McCormick recruited as an altar boy in 1997.
"He started having him come serve mass and have sodas and cookies after serving mass which then led to a trip upstairs in the rectory," Williams told Action News.
According to the Herald, McCormick tried to silence the boy by telling him, “Masturbation is a sin, homosexuality is a sin, pre-marital sex is a sin and lying is a sin.”
The boy, who is now an adult, reportedly came to authorities with the allegations of abuse in December of 2011.
Bernard Gutkowski, owner of Bernard Gutkowski Funeral Home in Bridgeport and a Sacred Heart parishioner, told the Herald he was surprised to hear of McCormick’s arrest.
"He has been accused and not found guilty," Gutkowski told the Herald. "We can’t see this man doing something like that. I worked very closely with him. It’s not in his nature for him to do something like that."
McCormick was arraigned Friday, July 27, and his bail was set at $150,000. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 17.
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- See this timeline of the case put together by The New York Times.