Priest Evades Felony Charge: Kids Don’t Have a Prayer With Current Laws


Click here to read: “Judge dismisses most serious charges against priest in abuse case,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 16, 2012.

Excerpt:

“Judge Karen Simmons ruled after the alleged victim testified that the Rev. Andrew McCormick led him to his rectory bedroom in the city’s Bridesburg section one evening in 1997, stripped to his boxers, straddled the altar boy and tried to force him to perform oral sex.

McCormick’s lawyer, William J. Brennan, argued that the allegations didn’t justify felony sexual assault and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charges because there was “absolutely no evidence” of clear penetration, as he said the law requires.”

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82 Responses to “Priest Evades Felony Charge: Kids Don’t Have a Prayer With Current Laws”

  1. I read this article last night and I was blown away that forcing a child to perform oral sex is NOT considered a felony! How is this right? Do children have NO value!? I am sickened. What can we do? I want to do something, anything.

  2. Holy —-, that’s nasty. What can be said about that?…Another altar boy – straddling catholic priest who didn’t commit a felony…The more publicity this one gets, the better!

  3. This makes me sick. How can the laws not change to protect our children. This is absurd.

  4. Maybe the wrong judge herd this case.

  5. Sweet Jesus …what is happening to our world? God Bless the Children!

  6. You’re absolutely right, Michelle, children have no value in society, or at least that’s how it seems anyway. I wonder if some regular Joe forced a child into oral sex if the serious charges would’ve been dismissed. Oral sex between an adult and a child, in itself, should be a serious enough charge to warrant felony assault.

    Sometimes I think I’m just wasting my time and energy trying to fight this issue of childhood sexual abuse. A young man finds the courage to speak up and a coward judge doesn’t think his suffering is serious enough to warrant felony charges. It’s just another ridiculous day in the City of Philadelphia, where money talks and those who continue to suffer are shit out of luck. If you want to rape kids, just join the priesthood. They’ve got the best lawyers money can buy. I’m disgusted by this case already.

    “Children should be seen and not heard.” That’s a old saying that even my mother quoted often around us kids. That’s the way it’s always been, and as long as we continue with that mentality nothing will change. Children are treated as second-class citizens in this country, and sometimes they are treated as non-citizens altogether.

    I’ve got news for people. Children have a voice. When they speak, adults should listen, especially when they are talking about some serious issue that no child should ever have to explain to an adult. Adults made it very difficult for me to open my mouth when I was young, and that’s a definite reason why I stayed silent for so long.

    It’s so frustrating to read an article about something like this. 99% of childhood sexual abuse is absolutely preventable, but unfortunately society and justice doesn’t see it in the same way so many others do. Andrew McCormick needs to be in prison, away from children, so that he can never destroy another life.

    I’ll write more later, because I’ve got so much to say about this judge’s decision. It makes me sick and I am gosh damned f#cking tired of trying to get these guys exposed while some doughnut judge puts the guilty right back into circulation. I could throw my computer out the window right now I’m so angry.

    • Rich,
      The problem isn’t the judge, it’s the law. The judge can only uphold what the law states. The law states those acts are not felonies.

      The children NEED the law changed. How messed up is the state of Pennsylvania that those acts wouldn’t warrant a felony charge?

      Justice4PAKids.com Find out how you can support those changes. Find out who needs to be pressured or persuaded to change the language of those laws.

      We owe our action to the brave victim(s) who came forward and has now been failed by the justice system.

      • It is not just the charges /sentencing of priests. If people in Pa. start following the news articles available everyday that show the weakness of the laws, they will understand why Pa. is nicknamed a predator friendly state.

      • I agree that actions of a sexual nature against children do need to be changed to felonies and I plan on doing whatever is needed to pressure my legislators into revising the laws. But, don’t you think that this judge’s interpretation of the law is flawed? The current law states that penetration makes it a felony. I think that oral sex constitutes penetration. Why wouldn’t the judge make this distinction?

      • mommaO,
        There wasn’t penetration through oral sex. It was attempted.

        To me…it doesn’t matter what the acts were…the incidents in question are that a child was lured back to the accused’s residence, stripped to his underwear, straddled by the accused, and the accused tried to get the child to perform oral sex.

        THAT is not a misdemeanor charge. That should be a felony! Penetration, no penetration…doesn’t matter…the accused (if proven guilty) violated that child.

        The language of the laws must change.

      • SW – I agree. The laws need to be changed. It is so despicable that the wording is as it is now. I can not understand it.

      • Clearly SW is right…it was gross abuse

        But in the weirdest of PA laws, and if the lesser accusations do not bring a conviction, could this man then be sent to the Diocesan Review Bd who could….. I guess, note that the accusations were ‘unsubstantiated’….is it possible that this monster could be ‘restored to ministry’.

      • SW is totally right it is gross abuse.

        But given the predator friendly state of PA, and if the lesser charges do not bring forth a conviction….is it possible that this case is then turned over to the Diocesan Review Bd, who I guess, could argue that the accusations ‘had not been substantiated’???

        Is it possible this disgusting man could then be ‘returned to ministry’?

      • Sw,
        Yes they should make attempted rape of a child by an adult a felony.

      • I’m just sharing the view from my front porch, Rich. No harm intended.

    • As far as church officials are concerned nothing is of value when expedient.
      Look how they discard children who have been fathered by their own clergy.
      In house, wanting to claim them, paternal fathers are scourged, not for being unable to maintain their vows, but for being caught!
      Yet as Chrismastide, “Oh come let us adore him”, the depiction of the Christ Child, made of clay with no voice and no threat, no claims packed away until the next year.
      As one now Diocesan Australian bishop whose diocese is under scrutiny due to a recent sex-abuse related suicide claimed, “We are a church of contradictions”.

    • Correction:
      As one now Retired bishop whose diocese is under scrutiny due the recent sex-abuse related suicide.,

  7. I, (abused by R Catholic priest)(refuse anymore to capitalize the word priest, my opinion on that in a nutshell)…anyway … As a…I was going to say victim, however, I have opened my mouth (20-odd years ago, hence, I no longer feel as a victim, however e-one has their own opinion on JUST THAT SUBJECT)……Ok, startover….
    I feel that based on this, in front of a Judge and it not “officially” being considered a felony…if this (GOD LOVE HIM), CHILD, would’ve told noone, E V E R about this, 1.) The sick bas%@&* of a “priest” would’ve simply and prbbly found himself another probably quiet, vulnerable youth to prey upon. OK, that said, this child has, had and continues…to this very second, live this situation all over again. In years to come, he (or it could’ve been a her), will have the time or the sheer GUTS, to later read all about what were discussing here. Can you only imagine what (how ever old he is) he is going to feel tomorrow, next week, next year, if he regenerates, what his next generation will feel, reading about the judges ruling, yes, but also how living within the borders of this Commonwealth, has, had or did…FAIL HIM. That feeling alone, for the victim is going to be immense.
    OK, a twist on all this…what if in 15 years, or however many, he commits the same act on a child, (remember, a “child” is in our adult world, anyone under 18), be it said also, & in this, I speak to the victim, should he ever read this in the future…what if he hears his neighbor, family member his town mayor, etc, etc. does “the deed” to another “child” and this particular victim of father McCormick … … R E A C T S … in any (ANY) way, will he get to use the excuse for vindication of his potential crime as “well, it happened to me, so I didn’t know any better”, or, “well in our Commonwealth, it isn’t a felony so … it’s ok”, or worse….he does commit a sex crime. Then we, you, I, said victim, defense, rep on his side, JUDGE, ppl in Harrisburg whom make/brake/mend laws…where will we all be in this mans situation?
    Set an example….HA, as of this minute, that has been thrown out the window for EVERYONE.
    God bless this child and God, please see to it that he grows in inner strength, and (through his own experience, now) grows much deeper, stronger and example of what can go wrong but that he is given God’s will to grow through it and simply realize that we, his “classmates”, make mistakes also. God Bless Him

    • FossilMan,

      A childhood sexual abuse victim who grows to become an adult and abuses a child should only be known as a predator. Adults have choices – Children do not!

      I am one person who doesn’t give a hootnanny about what happened to those predators when they were kids. (If my abuser Rev. John M. McDevitt was abused in his childhood, I fucking hope it hurt badly for him. I hope he suffered and I hope it lasted long.) If they continue the cycle, as decision-making adults, they deserve whatever punishment is thrown their way, and hopefully it will be classified as a felony, regardless of whether or not there was penetration.

      Now don’t go giving me the bullshit that maybe John or Jane Doe might not be able to understand right from wrong and to break that cycle, since he/she was abused in their childhood. They knew how it felt to be abused. Why the hell would they want to pass that suffering on to another child?!

      “If there is a heaven and a God, then God’s got a lot of explaining to do.” – Robert De Niro

      Peace out to all the victims and survivors out there who had their innocence and their youth stolen from them. Sorrow for the victims who died before they could speak, and for the ones who did speak, but couldn’t find the will to live with themselves anyway.

      • Rich , I don’t want to see any child be hurt. No child deserves to suffer or be hurt, or have it last long ..none. I will leave to the experts the theories about some abusers having been abused. There are many things that happen to people early in life that leads to their own behavior. We see people that were beaten as kids and grow up to beat their own children, others who were physically abused will not ever even spank their child. Why? Probably a million different answers or reasons, but in the end I don’t wish suffering on any child.

      • V4J,
        I strongly agree”Adults have choices-Children do not”. All the excuses and explainations in the world do not change the fact that it is wrong…….and they chose that action of their own free will……

      • Kathy no child should suffer like that………no child………….

      • Rich: I certainly understand where you are coming from. There is no excuse for abusing a child. If you drink too much and go out on the highway and kill somebody, you are still responsible. I believe child abuse is a cancer. But I think it is important to find out what causes this cancer. Recently some professional athletes who committed suicide had their brains examined after death to try to find a cause. Perhaps, there is some brain malfunction that causes people to abuse children. If so don’t we want to find this out. The brain is so complex and I don’t think we have even scratched the surface in our knowledge. Again we should not accept any excuses for child abuse but we should do all we can to find the causes.

      • Jim tucker, I couldn’t with you agree more (about researching the causes.)

      • Jim T.,..let me rephrase my post (lol)…I couldn’t agree more! There is more to “minor attraction” and child abuse than the obvious, and more research is needed.

      • Jim Tucker,

        You can go back and view how many times I have said we’ve got to start figuring out what makes a grown man want to rape a child, because if we don’t stop the abusers the victims will continue to pile up.

        Having said that, I don’t want to do it or be involved in it. Do you? I think if you feel like you have it in you, or you want to abuse a child, or you are inches away from doing such a thing, you should seek psychological attention immediately! (Or, kill yourself before you harm a child.) That might sound harsh, but I wish my abusers had died before they got to me. How they died, I wouldn’t have cared at all.

        Kathy,

        I saw this documentary one time “Deliver Us From Evil,” mostly about this scumbag Oliver O’Grady, who abused perhaps hundreds of children in the L.A. Dicoese. (He’s even been accused and has admitted to most of the abuse, including attempted rape of an infant. A f#cking baby! What in the hell???”) Anyway, a male victim of O’Grady said that he is so angry with O’Grady that he could “kill his mother.” I feel the same way. If I ever met anyone in McDevitt’s family it would not be a good day for them, or me. I’m not certain how I would react, but I doubt it would be good. O’Grady claimed he was abused while in the seminary.

        There is no excuse at all for an adult raping/molesting a child. If you are one of those people looking for excuses then please do me a favor – stand with them, not with me. I’ve been trying to expose the devil for over 20 years. I think some people feel sympathy for the devil and want to find him help before he sheds his evil again.

        The laws need to be changed, yes, but many already on the books. The laws need to be fixed so that they mirror the crimes predators commit. There’s always a loophole for everything, and it’s about time our legislators get to work and close those loopholes.

        O’Grady was convicted and spent 7 years in a California prison before being deported back to his home country of Ireland. Nobody knows his whereabouts. Lynn was convicted and sentenced to 3-6 years for child endangerment, or as I’d rather see the charge changed to “knowing bad people are raping kids.” When will my prison term end? When will all victims be released from their prisons?

        I know the answer. It’s when we die.

      • Rich: I feel your anger and I understand it. You are more than entitled to it. As you have said many times, this is about more than Catholic priests abusing Catholic kids. The abuse of children is bigger than most people understand. Our prisons are full of people who were abused as kids. Some were abused sexually. Just about all were abused physically and emotionally. After being abused , many victims let their anger take over and take it out on society. They get involved with drugs and alcohol which can lead to more trouble.Others ,like myself, turn the anger inward, which leads to serious depression , thoughts of suicide, and actual suicide. The cost of childhood abuse is enormous. Unfortunately, research is very limited. We live in a capitalist society ,where most research is aimed at making money. There isn’t much money in doing research on what causes adults to abuse children. There is government money but most politicians are too narrow minded to put money into this research.They fail to see the big picture and what the actual cost is to our society, particularly our youngest members.

      • Rich, I want to be very clear about where I stand. A few months ago someone forwarded me an email about a murderer who was coming up to be paroled or sentenced, I can’t remember the specifics. The email was advocating for leniency because the murderer was sexually abused as a child. I hit delete and didn’t look back. In the recent trial it came up that Fr Brennan had alluded in the past that he was sexually abused as a child,but I sat in the courtroom hoping that the evidence presented would warrant a conviction. I am not using excuses for anyone or anything. I can think about that murderer and feel that it was tragic if he was abused as a child but that doesn’t not change the fact that he took someone’s life. The same with Fr Brennan, I can say that it is a tragedy if someone sexually violated him as a child however it gives no right for his own actions as an adult. If someone hurt me or my family member it would not matter to me what in the past may have had lead that person to commit the crime, I would want the person punished regardless and even that would probably not be enough.
        I have met so many victims over the past year and I will always remember the comment a victim made on C4c when he said that to group all victims together would be like trying to herd cats. I have met people who want justice and others who want a simple apology. I have met victims who want the reasons for abuse to be
        explored One person contacted me to say that she wants support services in place for people who feel that they might abuse and this was something she thought would be too controversial to bring up among other victims. I have had two of the most heated conversations of people defending the church with two victims who are Catholic and are survivors of child sex abuse themselves (not by clergy). I have long past tried to figure out what will work overall and believe any victim deserves to follow their own path. So to me Fossil has as much right to express his views as does Jim or Survivor’s wife and you also.

      • That should read that the person who wanted the support services for people who feel that they may abuse is also a victim herself

  8. No wonder Chaput has worked so hard and spent so much time and money in trying to reduce the number of years one can come forward to report a crime.. The fact that one needs to “penetrate” a child to be consider a felony act is really sick. Based on the laws that are in place today, why would a child and or an adult come forward and put themselves through the pain? WE THE PEOPLE should be ashamed of ourselves as we have allowed these laws to be enacted rather than protect those who have and or could be hurt. So, not only can we not rely on the church to the right thing we are also at the mercy of a sick legal system that is more concerned about protecting the accused rights than those of the accuser. Once again, I challenge anyone to explain why one would want to be affiliated with an organization, such as the Catholic Church, that has zero transparency and is more concerned about protecting its own instead of the victims.

  9. § 3126. Indecent assault.
    (a) Offense defined.–A person is guilty of indecent assault
    if the person has indecent contact with the complainant, causes
    the complainant to have indecent contact with the person or
    intentionally causes the complainant to come into contact with
    seminal fluid, urine or feces for the purpose of arousing sexual
    desire in the person or the complainant and:
    (1) the person does so without the complainant’s
    consent;
    (2) the person does so by forcible compulsion;
    (3) the person does so by threat of forcible compulsion
    that would prevent resistance by a person of reasonable
    resolution;
    (4) the complainant is unconscious or the person knows
    that the complainant is unaware that the indecent contact is
    occurring;
    (5) the person has substantially impaired the
    complainant’s power to appraise or control his or her conduct
    by administering or employing, without the knowledge of the
    complainant, drugs, intoxicants or other means for the
    purpose of preventing resistance;
    (6) the complainant suffers from a mental disability
    which renders the complainant incapable of consent;
    (7) the complainant is less than 13 years of age; or
    (8) the complainant is less than 16 years of age and the
    person is four or more years older than the complainant and
    the complainant and the person are not married to each other.
    (b) Grading.–Indecent assault shall be graded as follows:
    (1) An offense under subsection (a)(1) or (8) is a
    misdemeanor of the second degree.
    (2) An offense under subsection (a)(2), (3), (4), (5) or
    (6) is a misdemeanor of the first degree.
    (3) An offense under subsection (a)(7) is a misdemeanor
    of the first degree unless any of the following apply, in
    which case it is a felony of the third degree:
    (i) It is a second or subsequent offense.
    (ii) There has been a course of conduct of indecent
    assault by the person.
    (iii) The indecent assault was committed by touching
    the complainant’s sexual or intimate parts with sexual or
    intimate parts of the person.
    (iv) The indecent assault is committed by touching
    the person’s sexual or intimate parts with the
    complainant’s sexual or intimate parts.
    (May 18, 1976, P.L.120, No.53, eff. 30 days; Feb. 2, 1990,
    P.L.6, No.4, eff. 60 days; Mar. 31, 1995, 1st Sp.Sess., P.L.985,
    No.10, eff. 60 days; Nov. 23, 2005, P.L.412, No.76, eff. 60
    days)

    Cross References. Section 3126 is referred to in sections
    2714, 3141, 9122 of this title; section 3304 of Title 5
    (Athletics and Sports); sections 5303, 6344 of Title 23
    (Domestic Relations); sections 5552, 6302, 6358, 6402, 6403,
    9795.1, 9795.4, 9802 of Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial
    Procedure); section 2303 of Title 44 (Law and Justice).

    Section: Previous 3106 3107 3121 3122 3123 3124 3125 3126 3127 3128 3129 3130 3141 3142 3143 Next
    Last modified: November 27, 2007

    Need to change the laws!!

  10. This is truly a travesty. So someone like Fr. Kostelnick from my chilhood parish of St. John of the Cross in Roslyn, even though he fondled some eighteen girls over the period of thirty two years, never could have been charged with any more than a misdemeanor because there was no penetration. Our laws need to be changed. I wonder what idiot wrot the laws. Sounds like some sick perverted paedophile.

    • JIm,
      Our laws were written in a time when children were valued less………I am hoping and trying to help in changing the laws because I value our children and I hope others put their money where their mouth is and work towards this goal also. Each child is made in the image and likeness of God and should be treated as such.

      • If not money some good old elbow action writing letters and doing everything they can do to stop child sexual abuse.

      • Beth: I agree that these laws were written when children were valued less. I just wish they were written in english. When I try to read them I get a headache. Not just these laws but most laws. They are written, it seems, so that an ordinary person couldn’t possibly understand them.I hear politicians talk every day about making the world better for their children and grandchildren. The problem is it is just talk. The time for talk is long past. We must demand that our lawmakers do something that will protect our children and grandchildren. I have two grandkids. One is three and the other is five. Will they grow up in a world that is safe? Will their children?

      • Sent my emailwill pass this along

      • Even with Megan’s Law ,look what can happen. I really cannot stress enough that people need to take Beth’s advice and get involved.
        http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2012/08/18/news/doc502f07ccb6933847364455.txt

  11. Sounds like enough evidence to hang him to me.

  12. It’s ludicrous. The “semantics” of sexual activity should not be the barrier to justice. This child was traumatized by a forced sexual act done to him by a man. To say that is merely a misdemeanor and not a felony is absurd.

    • Jackie: we are a nation of laws. Unfortunately every day someone, somewhere is trying to circumvent these laws. All of us here on this site know that what was done to that poor boy was wrong, not a little bit wrong but dead wrong. I read somewhere that in the middle ages a person could be condemmed to death for sexually abusing a child. Seems about right.

      • http://www.abolishsexabuse.org/ These people stopped talking and started doing…………just like Justice4PAkids…………..Thanks Maureen again and Thanks John and Tammy and everyone else……

      • Beth you know more than anyone the inadequacies of the laws in Pa. I feel like a broken record sometimes but Justice4Pakids came from the very first meetings that Susan and I attended over a year ago. The people present were a wide variety of various professionals who have worked on the child abuse and clergy abuse issue in Pa for many,many years. The laws is all they focused on…the laws. When we asked how we could make a difference..the answer of course was ..the laws.

    • We had them as young as 4 years old in NSW.
      Three senior church officials now under investigation for not dealing with it and other cases appropiately, NCR has taken up the story.
      4 years old mind you.
      Going are the day’s when they had the power to act as God, outside of the confessional.

      • What does “outside the confessional” mean.???? Do you still think they are God there? What about the tape recording in the confessional by the Monks of Padre Pio ? When that got found out, it went all over the priestly world.. We can hear but we’ll never tell! .

  13. Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply August 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Who is paying Attorney William Brennan to defend McCormick?

    How Attorney Brennan, who defended Fr. James Brennan during the Lynn trial, who is a Catholic, and who is the father of seven children, can sleep at night is beyond my comprehension.

    • Kate, I believe the individual priests are on their own when it comes to funding their defense, at least that was the case with Avery and Brennan. They funded Lynn’s defense until the recent “cap”

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply August 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

        Apparently, Catholic, Attorney Brennan is fast becoming the attorney-of-choice for Catholic, clerical perps in Philadelphia. It does not strain his conscience when he leaves his purported Catholic identity at the doorstep of the courthouse while he’s inside defending Catholic, clerical felons. Hey, the hierarchy does it. Why not Brennan? It’s getting harder and harder to see the Catholicism through the trees…

      • I don’t know the employment status of priests in Philadelphia but I bet it is similar to NYC. Priests in that archdiocese are independent contractors; they get 1099s rather than W2s. Edward Egan actually tried to use this as a defense — they are not our employees. Unbelievable. It might create IRS problems if an organization pays legal fees for a contractor.

      • Martin, the priests in Philly are also categorized as independent contractors.

      • Thanks Kathy

    • Kate, I could be wrong but I assume the AD has a hand in paying him. They wouldn’t want to lose their control over what is said and done in these defenses. His representation in these cases might actually be more about advertisement for his firm, than about big profits. He’s a distant acquaintance, and to be fair, seems to be a very intelligent, quiet, modest, dignified, kindly person. His firm has had some high profile clients over the years, and he seems to have found this niche representing the more despicable, lower-ranking, of the AD’s alleged, sex offending priests. Guess somebody’s got to do this, for the system to work for us all.

      Don’t know if it’s true but I was told that his sometimes irritating or outrageous courtroom behavior is a commonly used tactic, intentionally aimed at ticking off a judge, in the hope of causing her/him to make mistakes in certain areas, which could provide a basis for appeal.

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply August 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm

        Crystal,

        I agree that defendants have the right to be defended. However, Attorney Brennan spent 12 weeks at the Lynn trial. Presumably, he is an attorney and a human being, capable of being both professionally and personally affected by the fallout that came to light in that trial. The Philly AD’s and the Catholic Church’s history of harboring sexual abusers and conspiring to cover it up is unconscionable. Like us, Brennan is fully knowledgeable about this history and he is a Catholic. Were I he, the unconscionable crimes of my Church would personally prevent me from defending its clerical abusers. Why is Brennan not affected similarly? Why is he not outraged by his Church’s behavior? How can he separate his conscience from his professional agenda? How can he advocate for clerical abusers at the expense of victims? I can’t wrap my head around it because I presume that Brennan’s Catholic head is necessarily similar to mine. Of course, there was a time when I thought the hierarchical head was similar to mine, too… All they’ve done is redefined for me the term “bad Catholic.”

      • Kate I saw a certain dignity or professionalism with Bergstrom and Lindy that I did not see with Brennan, not even slightly. Everyone in this country deserves their right to a defense but if that means trashing a victim or implying other tactics to trick a judge in some way…my head would never be able to hit the pillow at night. You know the expression “no amount of money” ,well that fits in this scenario.

      • kate and kathy, I do hear you, and have no explanation other than to say that victims are a “constant” in criminal defense work. One would need to “compartmentalize” sympathy for victims, and any personal feelings for the church as a whole, or for it’s hierarchy, in order to defend each priest. I think it’s a good thing these lawyers are mostly catholic..this way, nobody can claim to be a victim of “anticatholicism” when it’s all over.
        I don’t hold catholics to a higher standard when it comes to ethics or morality….They are no better than anyone else when it comes to choosing between right and wrong. In fact i think their early religious indoctrination paralyzes them in a way… making them overly dependent on priests and useless church rules to guide behavior.

  14. $11,000,000.00 and $till increa$ing. I love the $mell of incen$e in the morning. It’$ the $mell of raw political power.

  15. Are there any sane humans who would not agree that this law needs to be changed? Would oral sex or attempted oral sex be a venial sin ( Yes RCC kids do see what you are getting away with). Is this the type of law you want to protect your kids? Who can we contact to introduce a change? All of our reps should sponser this one – to make it a felony to attempt to rape a kid and define the ways properly, they sure know how to item out the SOLs.

    • Ed,

      Can you imagine a grown man in his boxers, straddling a 10 year-old boy, thrusting his hips against the boy, and pushing his genitals toward the boy’s face? If you can imagine what that might look like, then you can do whatever it takes to change the current state of the most ridiculous, inadequate laws in our State’s legislatures.

      • Just makes me sick V4J. Won’t forget my friend in grade school and the fear in his eyes when his abuser was in front of us. 50 lbs and seeing that guy as I walked between my friend and him. Would have stayed in the store, but my friend was “acting strange” and we were asked to leave. A walk I will never forget. The guy was just released and my friend was in fear because he told.Thats in the 60’s

        There is much to the Oblates(the group who hid your abuser):

        “One of the witnesses who was expected to be called at that trial was the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, who was one of two priests and a lay teacher who were criminally charged last week by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams with the sexual assault of a 10-year-old.

        According to attorneys, Engelhardt, 64, was Killion’s supervisor at Salesianum when the plaintiffs allege they were molested between 1983 and 1986.

        Bartholomew J. Dalton, one of the attorneys representing Kramedas and Mauro, said the two were friends and classmates at Salesianum.

        According to the suit, Kramedas and Mauro worked for Killion in the school’s bookstore and with him at bingo nights. The lawsuit stated Killion assaulted each on school grounds at the faculty house and on a school ski trip to Vermont.

        The lawsuit also charges that Killion fondled and groped Kramedas in a confessional.

        Court papers state Killion gave the pair money, teachers’ editions of textbooks and other special treatment. A different plaintiff charged in court papers that Killion — who now resides at a priest retirement facility in Washington, D.C. — promised to give him better grades if he kept quiet about the sexual abuse.

        Dalton said the abuse ended only when Killion was transferred to Philadelphia.”

        http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/01_02/2011_02_19_OSullivan_ClergyAbuse.htm

        Your abuser was there as well, and Killion was transferred to Philly along with O’neil to Wood(boys). Thank you for your strength. They (RCC) knew and you are suffering because of it. I know both the RCC and Oblates knew as I was one who suggested the person who observed the abuse to go outside(1981). Still don’t know the abuser or victim, just the reporter

        Both killion and mcdevitt were huge men who forced themselves on victims> Don’t have to tell you, you and others on this site have faced the evil that the RCC have allowed to fester and you are working to save others from the same fate.

  16. Sometimes I wish I was one of these people with repressed memories. I could go on about life like nothing had ever happened, and I could’ve probably been one of those over-achievers with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees spewing out my veins. I tried college once, but it wasn’t for me, because I had been abused in a classroom, and the classroom setting would often make my stomach churn and it caused panic. At least I could find something else to do that would take up my thoughts and allow me to sleep decently every night. No nightmares would be an incredible relief. No flashbacks and no panic attacks, no triggers or reminders of any kind. No Darkness. I could just be, what I define as “normal.”

    I’m not naive enough to realize that many people with repressed memories, at some point in their lives… crash, and they often crash hard when they finally recover those memories. I’ve also spoken with people who had repressed memories and they said that they always felt like something was holding them back throughout their lives, but they just couldn’t put a finger on it. These people also claimed to have wanted to become a professional something, but often lacked the interest, motivation, and whatever else it was to continue their education or to go get exactly what they wanted.

    I’ve always remembered the abuse, which is to say that I have always known I was abused and I can definitely see the images clearly in my mind as I look back at my childhood and see what was done to me. I also have memories I believe I have blocked out of my psyche for whatever reason. Maybe those acts forced upon me were too traumatic for my mind to handle so I disassociated entirely and whatever those acts were only exist in some part of my brain I can’t get to, or probably more likely, I don’t want to get to. The memories I do have are already more than enough. But, being able to not have memory of abuse at all must be like a true blessing, if there ever was such a thing. I think I’d take those repressed memories in a second, just as long as I didn’t crash until I was in my 50s, or I wouldn’t crash at all.

    Sometimes I envy those people who were abused as children and have absolutely no memory of it as they are in the 40s and 50s now. I guess I wish my brain worked like theirs. Sometimes I think they’re lucky.

    Just like the dead victims. Sometimes I think they’re lucky too. They don’t have to fight every single minute of every day of their lives to stay afloat in a world that sees what grown men did to me when I was young as something of the past for which I cannot seek revenge in the form of legal retribution. The revenge I seek is necessary, and there’s nothing wrong with thinking that “revenge” is a worthy cause. Jesus mentioned “revenge” more than 230 times in the Bible. If he could have his revenge, why can’t I have mine?

    Revenge would come in the form of prison sentences for all those who knew about my abusers and did nothing. Rev. John M. McDevitt’s name would be wiped from the books as “a priest who died in good standing.” Revenge would provide the world with insight about what these “men” did to us as children and how it’s very possible they are preying on your own children right now. There’s nothing wrong with revenge as I see it. Payback’s a bitch!

    Andrew McCormick will not run very far from the charges prosecutors seek in his criminal trial. Already, prosecutors are scrambling to have the case heard in front of a new judge, and have the current judge’s evaluation of the charges overturned. At least we have been able to identify and expose another predator and that has always been my single most important mission. I get to protect kids today, and nothing makes me feel more proud than remembering the kid I was, praying, begging, and pleading for help and no one ever came to the rescue, and then knowing that I have the power to prevent another child from experiencing that hell. I also can expose the predators who seek out those innocent youth to abuse. Monday, I will accompany yet another victim to the D.A.’s office in Philly so he can report having been abused as a 12 year-old by a pedophile predator teacher in a Catholic school he attended. He will get some reprieve knowing that this teacher is still alive and he is being exposed for the scumbag he truly is, and hopefully he will not have contact with any child ever again.

    The true revenge though is getting all of these predators to know what it’s like to be me. Maybe it’s an impossible mission, but once the jailhouse doors slam, they’ll have plenty of time to figure out what put them in that situation to begin with, and with any luck they will have sorrow for themselves, and most importantly, sorry for the children they placed in harm’s way. Children deserve to be children, and men who exploit their youth deserve a place beneath the prison floor.

    And no sexual predator will ever get a pass from me simply because he/she was abused in their childhood. That’s an excuse, and not a very good one.

    • Rich: I was one of those people who repressed the memories. Of course I didn’t have much chioce. My mother told me if I didn/t stop talking about it ,I would get the belt.But you can repress the memories all you want. The effects will always be there. So you end up without the memories but with the effects. You go through life, struggling to understand why you have the feelings you have,why you do the things that you do, why you can’t be truly happy, and why you can’t connect with other people. You turn to drugs, alcohol, whatever will make you feel better that day.And then one day you realize the booze isn’t doing it any more. So you stop abusing alcohol and two years later the sexual abuse memories come back. Then you’re a forty year old man .feeling like a twelve year old boy who has just been molested. I know that it seems like the repression of the memories could be a blessing. But they are not. All you actually do is put off the inevitable.I think the best thing, is to get help immediately for the abuse. The longer you put it off, the more difficult it becomes.

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply August 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm

        Thanks for continuing to share your story, Jim. In doing so, you impart so much wisdom and practical knowledge.

        Praying for you and all victims/survivors.

  17. So then we understand each other, Kathy. It doesn’t matter what happens in the life of a childhood to excuse what a man or woman does as an adult. I don’t think the family of the murder victim really cares much about that inmate’s childhood either, and I have actually advocated for removing the social stigma from pedophilia in the hopes that men and women with that type of mentality can seek medical and pyschological treatment, and that that treatment is made more available. It would seem to me that the only time a child abuser is given some sort of treatment is after he/she offends and is sent to prison, and as part of their sentence they have to participate in a program for sex offenders. By the time they reach this treatment, it’s too late, because more children have suffered.

    I don’t know how many inmates in our prisons currently were abused as children. I am aware that every time a pedophile is caught abusing a child, his/her explaination is that the same abused occurred when he/she was a child. I don’t believe that to be accurate or true. I think it’s just another excuse to extract sympathy from the crowd. Sure, some abuse victims do repeat the cycle, but I think if we had a time machine and we could look at everyone’s past, their testimonies may not be as true as they claim. Maybe I have no business claiming this, or maybe it is my business to claim that “not all childhood sexual abuse victims become predators.” I’ve heard statistics that as many as 50% of CSA victims grow up to become predators. Where does that information come from and how accurate could it possibly be when 88% of CSA victims will never come forward and speak about the abuse they suffered in their childhood.

    Isn’t anyone just a little bit tired of excuses? We get excuses from the Catholic Church and its’ politicians explaining why a priest covered-up for other priests who abused children. We heard enough excuses from Dottie Sandusky about why she never went down into the basement, even though she heard screaming. I’ve read blogs of mothers who knew their children were being abused by their husbands, but please excuse them, they didn’t want to rock the boat and their husbands were the bread winners and mommy couldn’t take the kids and run. Bullshit! Excuses, excuses, excuses. I’m waiting to here from the mothers and fathers whose only excuse was, “when I found out I had to do something.” Could temporary insanity get them of the hook for physical assault of a priest, or attempted murder of a husband? I kiss the ground that William Lynch walks on and I’ll be forever in awe of what he did, when he lured the priest who abused him from a retirement home and beat him to a bloody pulp. I don’t advocate violence by any stretch of the imagination, but there’s got to be something said for the heroes who walk among us every day.

    My only focus in this thread was that children are unable to consent to such wicked poisoning of their innocent bodies, because many, including myself, were taught throughout our childhood that an adult is the authority figure and what he says it’s more important than what I feel is right. The choices adults made when I was a child would have an everlasting effect on who I would become and the hell that I’ve walked through to get here, today. I never chose to be sexually assaulted and raped. It was chosen for me by adults who should’ve been held to a higher standard, like my mother taught me, and treated me better with kindness, rather than neglect and indignity.

    Maybe C4C could start a sister website where all child predators are welcome to discuss what causes them to abuse innocent, helpless, defenseless little kids? You might just have something there. Or, maybe you’re like me, and you wish these predators would expose themselves to the mental health field or to law enforcement before they expose themselves to children, and only someone like me knows what else these types are capable of. If you want to do something like that, more power to you, but I bet you don’t, nor do I. They fucked me up enough for life. I don’t have any energy left or the will to understand what drives their screwed up desires. I would appreciate anyone who is close to abusing a child buying a gun and blowing their f#cking head off, because they don’t deserve to breathe the same oxygen and walk the same streets as the innocents they prey upon.

    I never give the most serious details away about the kind of abuse I suffered as a child. I will only say that anything an adult man could possibly do with another adult man, sexually, was done to me, and more. Maybe if you could see through my eyes, or could be triggered by odors, touch, and coldness you might understand why I carry the hate along with me. If you could see what my eyes have seen, or if your body could feel as mine has felt, you might have some idea of why I could never let go of this anger, and why I don’t even want to let go of it. “Forgiveness” is the chapter I skip in the 40+ self-help books I have read in four years. Besides, is anyone going to apologize to me for the hell I’ve been through, look into my eyes, and mean it? My dog has honest eyes. Priests do not.

    I certainly didn’t mean to imply, Jim, that having repressed memories was like living a dream or some kind of escape. I know people who had repressed memories and they did okay for themselves throughout their lives, but yes, some were alcoholics, and some had serious issues they couldn’t relate to anything in their lives. Some hit a big wall harder than Pelle Lindberg’s Porsche. I guess I just mean that if there was some type of therapy or pill that would remove all of my past memories, I’d do it in a New York minute. I would trade all of my memory and my current knowledge for anything, all of my possessions and my occupation, even if it meant living the rest of my life broke and in a cardboard box in a city alleyway to just have all memory wiped clean from my conscious. You could hit me with the Neuralyzer Memory Erasing Pen from the movie Men In Black, if such an incredible writing tool existed. There isn’t nearly enough good memories in my life to trump the horrible memories, and I wouldn’t think twice about the opportunity of having no memory at all. Maybe only then will I be free.

    Yeah, if there is a God, well… he definitely has a lot of explaining to do!

    • Rich: I can’t imagine the inner turmoil you go through every day. From what I have read on this site., I’m not sure I would have lived through the torture that you endured. Your anger and hatred are truly understandable.I was only abused one time. I was very lucky. After that one time, I would never let that priest get near me again. If he attempted, as he did on occasions, i would run and he was never fast enough to catch me. Also I was molested at the end of 6th grade .After 7th grade , we moved from Roslyn to Glenside. My parents lost their dream home. I was thirteen when we moved. I was devastaed. I had to leave all the kids that I went to school with since first grade. There was a suggestion made that I live in the rectory during the school year during the week, so that I could finish eighth grade. Luckily the pastor said that my parents would have to contribute for food. Whatever the amount of money was, my parents couldn’t afford it. I wonder if that pastor knew what would have happened to me if I had been allowed to stay at the rectory. I didn’t know then but after reading your posts, I know now. If I was still alive I would be filled with the rage and anger that you express. I wish you well and hope someday you will find some inner peace.

    • Rich; In reading through your blog again, something caught my attention that I needed to respond to again. When you were writing about waiting for a parent to say” i’ve got to do something”. This brought to mind someone I was working with back in the early nineties. He was a boy scout leader in suburban Philadelphia. He was the troop leader and he found out that the assistant scout master was molesting his son and several other boys in the troop. He was livid, and blamed himself because “he should have known”. It turns out that the assistant scout master had a history. He had abused kids in the Boston area and had recently moved to the philadelphia area. On the day of the trial my co-worker attacked the perp on the steps of the courthouse in Norristown.I don’t know how many blows he got in before he was restrained. But I know I felt great admiration for this guy. Yes, he broke the law. But I would like to think I would have the guts to do what he did if it were my kid.

      • Jim,

        During the handful of days I went up to the trial, I sat in the back of the courtroom and watched Brennan carry on at the defense’s table. He seemed like an immature child who didn’t understand the gravity of the crimes he was being charged with and he seemed so arrogant as I watched and listened to a victim talk about being raped as a 10 year-old alter boy in a storage closet at St. Jerome’s Church. It kept running through my mind that I was only a few yards away from this scumbag and I was sure there would be some consequences if I was even able to get to him before security tackled me, but I never wanted to “reach out and punch someone” so badly.

        I realize that trials that involved child victims of abuse are not exactly the best medicine for my recovery. Still I wanted to be there for those boys and I wanted to make sure they had enough support on the the right side of the courtroom.

        I was also certain that I wouldn’t make it very far before court security got to me, because these days were just before my surgery and walking wasn’t my strong trait, and running definitely didn’t exist either. I haven’t physically ran in over 14 months, since I was injured.

        Having said all of this, I would happily plead guilty and take my punishment like a man if I had the opportunity to break Brennan’s face. Like I said before, “I have come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass… and I’m all outta bubble gum.”

        I don’t believe in the death penalty. However, I believe in a small room, 8 hours, and a waterboard.

    • Rich, when I was in a trauma unit this past February for four weeks, the insurance doctor who was communicating with my psychiatrist suggested electric shock therapy. He thought it would help me if I could erase some of the memories. But I have seen interviews with patients who after treatment say they wish they hadn’t done it. They have the sadness and depression but have no connection to any cause. I would hate that. I have struggled to recall the pieces that have been “hidden” from my full consciousness; I cling to the absolute memories I have always had as proof to myself that I am not mad and not a liar. I cannot imagine a hell more profound than the loss of my memories.

      • Mona; my mother went through electro shock therapy back in the mid sixties. She never seemed the same afterwards. It was like she had this zombie face on most of the time. For a good part of my life, I blocked the memories of the sexual abuse. When I finally recovered them, I was completely overwhelmed. The intense feelings of being abused were much the same as the day the actual abuse happened. But as children, we do whatever is necessary to survive. If blocking the memories gets us through it,then that’s what we need to do. Unfortunately what helps us survive is not always good for us mentally or emotionally.

      • Mona I think you are right even when the mind forgets the body still remembers…………..everything is connected……….I am so sorry for your suffering and amazed at the determination of so many that blog here.

      • JIm I have heard the same from other survivors it helped them cope and survive as children but was destructive as adults.The same coping mechanism was not needed as an adult and kept them distance from others and from forming healthy relationships in the future.Alot of non survivors don’t seem to understand the gravity of this unless they are personally affected by a loved one.

  18. Reid has some excellent statistics on the stats of prisoners who were victims of sexual abuse. He shared them with us at a seminar a few months ago. Also present was a DA who shared that the increase of the amount of minors abusing other minors is the fastest growing population right now in her area. She believes most of these minor offenders have been abused themselves. It doesn’t mean that it is right or should go unpunished just that it is indeed happening.
    I do not have a right to tell a victim to forgive just as I would not have a right to ask a victim why they chose to forgive. It is simply none of my business..it is no one’s business how someone deals with a trauma.

    • Kathy, we have had this conversation before, but having worked in ‘social services’ for many years and lobbied for the poor in CA, I am painfully aware that somewhere around 70% or higher of welfare moms have been sexually abused as well….

      No end to the ugliness.

  19. Anything new on this case – have to return a call to Harrisburg about this case. What is the main concern that needs to be address about this law? With the stroke I need to focus on the main point when I talk on a phone. Thanks, Ed

  20. Look at who had 3 felony charges reinstated in Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas today.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20121002_Accused_priest_will_again_face_charges.html

    • I wonder who paid his bail? Parishioner money?

      Thank you for providing the link.

      Praying for justice to prevail and the victim to have some measure of healing.

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