It’s probably not an anniversary he wanted to commemorate, but Rev. Andrew McCormick’s retrial on child sex-assault charges has been set for Feb. 23 – two days short of one year from the start of the ill-starred trial that ended March 12 with a hung jury.
McCormick, 58, was back in court Thursday before Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright, accompanied by his new lawyer, Trevan Borum. Borum agreed to represent McCormick after his previous defense attorney, William J. Brennan Jr., withdrew after the jury deadlocked and Bright declared a mistrial.
Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp objected to McCormick hiring Borum because Borum’s trial schedule made it impossible for him to defend the priest at any trial before next year. Borum said he begins a six-week federal trial in Allentown on Oct. 6 and a capital murder trial in Philadelphia on Jan. 26.
“The Commonwealth has an interest in resolving this case,” Kemp told Bright, adding that retrials are supposed to occur within 120 days.
“What do you suggest I do?” asked Bright, who denied Kemp’s motion. “That’s who he hired. … There are certain things the court can do and can’t do.”
Bright called the delay “regrettable” but noted that her own trial schedule is booked through mid-2015. Bright ruled that McCormick’s must begin Feb. 23 and attached Kemp and Borum for that day. The judge set a status conference on Jan. 23.
McCormick was arrested in July 2012 on charges he sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997 when he was at St. John Cantius church in Bridesburg.
McCormick, ordained in 1982, was pastor of Sacred Heart parish near Bridgeport, Montgomery County, when he and 26 Roman Catholic priests were suspended in March 2011 by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for possible inappropriate conduct with children. The suspension did not involve the alleged victim in the trial now set for Feb. 23.