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Jury Hears Opening Statements In Retrial Of Philadelphia Priest

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A jury has heard opening statements in a sexual assault case against a Philadelphia priest, nearly a year after another jury was deadlocked after four days of deliberations, and a mistrial was declared.

KYW's Steve Tawa reports testimony will begin in the morning in the new trial against the same defendant.

Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp told jurors "no 41-year-old adult has a right to touch a child like Father Andrew McCormick did to a 10-year-old altar boy in 1997."

The defendant is now 59 and the alleged victim, who will take the stand again, is 28.

Kemp says the defendant, known as Father Andy lured the boy up to his 2nd floor room in the rectory at St John Cantius in the Bridesburg section, and the alleged victim was "ashamed, in shock, and too young to understand what happened."

He came forward in 2011, after hearing the priest was put on administrative leave in the widening sexual abuse scandal rocking the church.

Kemp says he now wants justice, not money, pointing out he did not file a lawsuit.

Defense lawyer Trevan Borum objected saying a lawsuit was "time-banned, because the statute of limitations had expired." He asked the judge to strike the remark from the record.

Then, he told jurors the priest had served 30 years in four parishes, and came into contact with thousands of altar boys - with only one uncorroborated claim.

Borum says he 'has no doubt' the alleged victim's family believes it happened to their son, but he asked jurors to decide the case on the evidence, following the law, and not out of sympathy for the family.

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