Priest accused of child abuse in Mass. court
IPSWICH, Mass. (WHDH) -- A priest pleaded “not guilty” in court on Friday on five counts of child rape that allegedly occurred at a summer camp for disadvantaged children nearly 30 years ago.
Rev. Richard McCormick was arrested Thursday in New Rochelle, N.Y. where he used to be a high ranking member of a Roman Catholic religious order. The 71-year-old is accused of molesting the victim when he was 11 and 12 years old.
“My client should be proud of himself for coming forward,” said the victim’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, who has settled 9 similar cases against the same priest.
The prosecutor, Kate MacDougall, described how the abuse stopped. “The victim would either leave the grounds during the night and hide in the woods or on a fire escape or would sometimes go into the older boy’s bunk room and hide under his older brother’s bunk,” she said.
The suspect’s friend, Rev. Steven Dumais, was questioned by the judge about the order’s residence.
“When family’s in trouble you try to stand behind your family as best you can and we’re trying to do that at the same time, not undermining the hurt of…other parties involved,” he said.
Victim’s attorney said the other nine cases against the priest may not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations had run out.
Authorities asked for $75,000 bail, but the judge set it at $1,000. If the priest makes bail he is allowed to go back to his residence in New York but if he has contact with minors he must be supervised.