Da: Abusive Priest Terrorized Boy
By O’Ryan Johnson and Matt Stout
September 1, 2012
|ACCUSED: The Rev. Richard McCormick is arraigned at Salem Superior Court, accused of raping a child in Ipswich in 1981 and 1982.|
The onetime leader of a Catholic order known as the Salesians of Don Bosco, who also ran a summer camp in Ipswich, was arraigned in Salem District Court yesterday for terrorizing a 9-year-old boy at the camp in the early 1980s, forcing the youngster to hide under his brother’s bed at night to escape the cleric’s advances, prosecutors said.
Richard McCormick, 68, of New Rochelle, N.Y., pleaded not guilty to five counts of rape of a child and was released on $1,000 bail. Judge Timothy Feeley ordered McCormick to return to his New York home, but to stay away from an all-boys high school that sits 100 yards away.
Assistant Essex District Attorney Kate MacDougall asked that McCormick be held on $75,000 bail. The case against him is based on a year-long investigation led by Ipswich police and state police assigned to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office.
MacDougall said McCormick ran the camp for the Salesians in Ipswich and began abusing the victim, who was not named, almost immediately upon his arrival. She said the camp is for disadvantaged boys from the Boston area. She said McCormick abused the boy during summers in 1981 and 1982, until the boy was 11 years old. The abuse started as touching, she said, but escalated to rape.
“This would occur both in the office that the defendant had on the grounds ... (He also) would come and get him at night from the dorm rooms where the young boy would sleep,” MacDougall told the court.
Defense lawyer Steve Neyman said McCormick is barred from public ministry and spends his days helping with menial tasks around the New Rochelle headquarters of the Salesians.
“We’re going to do our best to uphold the conditions as far as his release is concerned,” said the Rev. Steven Dumais, vice provincial leader of the religious order, outside the courthouse. “We’re going to continue cooperating as fully as possible with the civil authorities, as well as continue praying for all victims of abuse.”
Lawyer Mitchell Garabedian, who won settlements against the Salesian order on behalf of nine people who say they are victims of McCormick, said the priest sexually abused those boys between 1963 and 1982 in New York, Massachusetts and Rome. He said he was not surprised to learn McCormick has not been defrocked.
“He was the boss for five years,” Garabedian said. “When priests judge other priests, it’s a kangaroo court.”