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Former Bridesburg Priest is Being Sued for Damages Stemming from Alleged Sexual Abuse

Andrew McCormick, a 59-year-old priest, is being sued—along with the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia—for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages sustained by an alleged victim of sexual assault 18 years ago in a Bridesburg parish.

The accuser, a former altar boy, filed the lawsuit on July 10, after McCormick was taken to trial twice in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, with both criminal trials ending in hung juries.

In both the criminal and now the civil cases, the plaintiff—now age 27—is known as John Doe, to protect his identity. Doe alleges that McCormick tried to make him perform a sex act in McCormick’s private bedroom at Bridesburg’s St. John Cantius parish in 1997.

McCormick was suspended from the archdiocese in March 2011, along with 26 other priests, under suspension of inappropriate sexual conduct with children. In July 2012, he was officially charged in the criminal case.

It was also revealed at McCormick’s first trial that he’d been formally reprimanded twice for allowing underage boys in his private rooms, and that he was implicated in a mass-investigation in 2004 by a Philadelphia County grand jury for questionable conduct with minors.

Center City attorney Trevan Borum represented McCormick in the criminal case and expects to be retained for the civil suit.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Borum complained that John Doe lied when he originally testified he wasn’t interested in pursuing civil action, saying that statement was simply a tactic to put Doe’s personal motivation into a better light in court.

Brian D. Kent, the lawyer who filed the lawsuit, again according to The Inquirer, Doe’s motive for the suit remains the same: to ensure McCormick and church officials are held accountable and “that this doesn’t happen to any other children.”

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