Priest Convicted of Raping Ipswich Boy in 1980s

A jury has convicted a Roman Catholic priest of five counts of child rape stemming from summer camp attacks dating back to 1981. Reverend Richard McCormick, 73, was found guilty in Lawrence Superior Court Wednesday after a four-day trial.

The rapes occurred in Ipswich at the Salesian Brothers’ Sacred Heart retreat center, a religious camp where McCormick worked. The victim, now 44, was between the ages of 10 and 12 at the time, according to The Boston Globe.

“[Rape] is a fundamental violation of a child’s innocence that can never be truly restored,’’ District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement from his office. “My hope is that these guilty verdicts allow this brave [victim] to find some peace of mind, knowing that none of this was his fault.’’

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McCormick’s defense claimed the accusations against the retired priest were motivated by money, according to The Salem News. The North Shore newspaper also described McCormick’s authority at the camp as “a position equivalent to a bishop.’’

McCormick also faces an additional count of child rape following allegations from another boy that attended the summer camp during the same time period, according to NECN. McCormick’s sentencing is scheduled for December 18.

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