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Local News

March 8, 2013

Priest indicted in 2nd child rape case

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.

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