, Salem, MA

Local News

September 1, 2012

Priest accused of rape

McCormick pleads not guilty to assaults on boy at summer camp


McCormick’s arrest came after a yearlong investigation by the Essex County district attorney’s office and the Ipswich Police Department after the victim approached the district attorney’s office.

MacDougall said McCormick singled out the victim because the boy did not have a father who was active in his life. She said the abuse took place both in the camp’s office and in the boy’s dorm room.

The victim was so afraid of McCormick that he would hide in the woods, on a fire escape or under his older brother’s bunk during the night, MacDougall said.

McCormick stood with his head bowed as MacDougall made her comments.

MacDougall requested that McCormick be held on $75,000 cash bail, saying he had minimal ties to Massachusetts. But Judge Timothy Feeley ordered McCormick released on $1,000 bail in the custody of the Rev. Steven Dumais, the vice provincial of the Salesian Brothers of the eastern United States.

Dumais and McCormick both live in the Salesians’ eastern U.S. headquarters in New Rochelle. Under questioning by the judge, Dumais said McCormick has been restricted from “public ministry” since 2008 and spends his time at the headquarters helping in the kitchen and with maintenance projects and working on the Salesians’ archives.

Dumais said McCormick is not allowed to have contact with children.

“He has 24/7 supervision of all his activities,” Dumais said.

Dumais said there has been no effort by the Salesian Brothers to remove McCormick from the priesthood. The previous allegations of abuse were not brought up in court.

Feeley ordered McCormick released under conditions that he remain in New Rochelle, report once a week to the probation office by phone, attend all of his court sessions in Salem and have no unsupervised contact with minors. Dumais, as his custodian, said he will ensure that those rules are followed.

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