Fr. Richard J. McCormick – Archdiocese of New York

| Aug 12, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Richard J. McCormick

Archdiocese of New York/Salesians

Ordained: 1970

Removed: 2002

Died: 2020

Assigned as follows:

  • < 1970-1971: St. Dominic Savio High School (Boston, MA)
  • 1971-1975: Salesian Prep School; Resident Junior Seminary; Camp Salesian for Boys; Retreat House for Boys; Salesian Boys Club (Cedar Lake, IN)
  • 1976-1980: Salesian Junior Seminary (Goshen, NY)
  • 1980-1985: Don Bosco Retreat Center (West Haverstraw, NY)
  • 1980s: Camp Salesian/ Sacred Heart Retreat Center and Seminary (Ipswich, MA)
  • 1985-1991: Salesian Provincial House (New Rochelle, NY)
  • 1991-1992: St. Rosalie’s (Harvey, LA)
  • 1992-1998: Don Bosco Technical High School (Boston, MA)
  • 1992-1998: St. John Bosco Chapel (Boston, MA)
  • 1998-2000: Savio Preparatory High School (Boston, MA)
  • 2000-2002: St. Petersburg Catholic High School (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • 2002-2005: Unknown
  • 2005-2009: NY Marian Shrine (Stony Point, NY)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Richard J. McCormick:

Fr. Richard J. McCormick, a Salesian priest, served as a teacher and director at Salesian retreat houses, boys’ camps, and various schools in Massachusetts, New York, Indiana, and Florida throughout his career. In the six years before his time at St. Rosalie, he led the New York-based office, or Eastern Province, which supervised Salesians in New Orleans and many other places.

According to media reports, in 2002, McCormick was removed from his position at St. Petersburg Catholic High School amid an accusation of sexually harassing a female student. It is unknown where he was assigned between 2002 and 2005. However, at some point in the 2000s, the Salesians settled with a man who alleged McCormick raped him on a trip to Rome in 1975 when he was a 14-year-old Salesian Prep student in Cedar Lake, Indiana.

In August 2009, the Order announced a settlement with three more men alleging child sexual abuse by McCormick in the late 1970s at Salesian Junior Seminary in Goshen, New York. Three others came forward soon after. McCormick was then suspended from ministry.

In August 2012, McCormick was arrested for the rape of a boy, ages 9 and 10, at the Salesian camp for underprivileged children in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1981 and 1982. He pleaded not guilty but was convicted in November 2014 and sentenced to 8 to 10 years in prison, followed by 10 years probation. His victim filed a civil suit in March 2015.

According to court records, McCormick would take the boy from his bed to the camp office to abuse him. He would also abuse the boy in a storage closet. His victim said he was so terrified he would hide under his older brother’s bed, on a fire escape, or in the woods. The boy knew McCormick as “Fr. Dick.”

McCormick was arrested again in April 2013, on charges of raping a 6- to an 8-year-old boy at the same camp between 1981 and 1983. He once again pleaded not guilty, but later pleaded guilty to reduced charges. His victim said the priest would have him sit on his lap and that “it hurt.” In August 2015, he was convicted and sentenced to another 8-10 year prison sentence, to run concurrently with the sentence he was already serving.

At least 17 people are reportedly known to have alleged they were sexually abused as children by McCormick, some as early as 1963.

In December 2019, McCormick’s name was added to the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors, after the Associated Press asked why it was missing. In February 2020, his name was added to the Diocese of Columbus’s list. In March 2021, McCormick is listed on the Salesian’s 2021 List of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor.

McCormick died in prison in April 2020.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of New York. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest or other Catholic clergy in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of New York now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.

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