Priest Pleads Not Guilty in Ipswich Child Rape Case
By Jennie Oemig
Wicked Local Newburyport
August 31, 2012
Ipswich Police arrested a New York priest Thursday, Aug. 30, in New Rochelle, N.Y., on charges of child rape.
The priest ran a summer camp at the former Retreat Center of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Ipswich.
Rev. Richard McCormick, 71, of 148 East Main Street, New Rochelle, was arraigned Friday, Aug. 31, in Salem Superior Court on five counts of rape of a child, pled not guilty and was released on $1,000 bond.
The charges date back to 1981 and 1982.
McCormick, who is represented by Attorney Steve Neyman, is scheduled to appear in Salem Superior Court again on Oct. 23, for a pre-trial conference.
Lt. Dan Moriarty, spokesman for the Ipswich Police Department, referred all questions regarding the case to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.
The Don Bosco center was off County Road, where New England Biolabs is now located.
McCormick, the former provincial of the Salesian Brothers of Don Bosco for the eastern United States and Canada, was arrested on an indictment warrant that was issued on Aug. 24.
The indictments were sought following a yearlong, joint investigation conducted by the Essex District Attorney’s Office and the Ipswich Police Department, which was initiated after the alleged victim approached the Essex District Attorney’s Office.
Carrie Kimball Monahan, director of Communications for the Essex District Attorney’s Office, said the D.A.’s office did not seek out any other victims during the process of the investigation.
“The purpose of the investigation was to get enough information to pursue criminal charges,” she said.
Monahan also said that the statute of limitations for these particular offenses is typically 27 years from the day the victim turns 16.
However, the statute clock stops as soon as the alleged perpetrator is out of state and McCormick has been out of Massachusetts almost the entire time since the alleged crimes took place.
“It’s possible that when the victim turned 16, McCormick wasn’t even in the state, so the clock hadn’t even started,” she said. “So we still have ample time.”
Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall requested $75,000 cash bail, arguing McCormick has minimal ties to Massachusetts.
MacDougall told the court that the alleged victim attended a summer camp at the Retreat Center of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Ipswich, which was run by McCormick.
During the summers of 1981 and 1982, McCormick was accused of raping the male victim.
Judge Timothy Feeley released McCormick on $1,000 cash bail and ordered that he continue to live at the Provincial Residence of the Salesians at 148 East Main St. in New Rochelle.
McCormick must report to Superior Court Probation by telephone once a week and in person on every court appearance.
He must also attend each and every court appearance, have no unsupervised contact with minors and have no contact with students or be present at a high school located near the Provincial Residence.
Judge Feeley further ordered that Rev. Steve Dumais, the current vice provincial for the Salesians order in New Rochelle, serve as custodian of the defendant to ensure he adheres to the pre-trial release conditions.
A bail warning has also been issued, which means that if McCormick violates any of the bail conditions or fails to appear in court, he can be held without bail for up to 60 days.