SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 8, 2013

Priest indicted in 2nd child rape case

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — IPSWICH — The former head of a Roman Catholic religious order, already facing child sexual abuse charges, was indicted yesterday for allegedly raping a second child while serving in Ipswich in the early 1980s.

The Rev. Richard J. McCormick, 71, who held a position that is the equivalent of a bishop with the Salesian Brothers of Don Bosco, was already under indictment for alleged sexual abuse of a boy who was 9 and 10 years old at the time.

Yesterday’s indictment charges that McCormick also raped a younger boy while serving at the Salesian Brothers’ Sacred Heart retreat center and seminary in Ipswich. The boy was between the ages of 7 and 9 when the alleged abuse occurred, from 1981 to 1983.

Carrie Kimball Monahan, a spokeswoman for Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, said the second victim, now in his late 30s, came forward last year after learning from news accounts about McCormick’s indictment.

The new indictment alleges that McCormick raped the child on multiple occasions between June 1, 1981, and Sept. 1, 1983.

Monahan said more details about what prosecutors believe happened are expected to come during McCormick’s arraignment next month.

McCormick has been free on $1,000 cash bail since shortly after his arraignment in the earlier case, over the objection of prosecutors, who had sought $75,000 cash bail.

He had been living at the Salesians’ headquarters in New Rochelle, N.Y., but in October, Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley allowed McCormick to move to the Vianney Renewal Center outside of St. Louis, Mo., a program for pedophile priests.

It’s not known whether prosecutors will renew their request for higher bail when McCormick is arraigned on the new charge on April 5.

McCormick has been excused from appearing in court since his original court date in August, but will have to return to Massachusetts for arraignment on the new charge.

In August, an official of the Salesians told reporters that McCormick has not been involved in active ministry since 2008, though he remains a priest.

In 2009, the order settled with three men who say McCormick abused them while they were attending a seminary in Goshen, N.Y., where McCormick was the director in the late 1970s, before he went to the Sacred Heart center in Ipswich. In 2002, McCormick was forced to resign from a teaching job in St. Petersburg, Fla., amid allegations of inappropriate contact with a female student.

Civil attorney Mitchell Garabedian said yesterday that he represents more than 10 individuals in civil lawsuits against McCormick, including the victim in last summer’s indictment.

McCormick’s attorney in the criminal case, Stephen Neyman, did not return a call yesterday seeking comment.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.