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April 10, 2015

No retrial for Philadelphia priest accused of sexual assault

A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old alter boy in a Bridesburg parish almost 18 years ago will not face a retrial, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office announced on Friday. 

After two juries failed to reach a verdict in the past 12 months, key members of Assistant District Attorney Kristen Kemp's sex-crimes unit backed the decision not to retry Rev. Andrew McCormick, NBC 10 reports.

Despite the dismissal of charges against the 58-year-old, a gag order barring comment from all sides will remain in effect until April 16. 

McCormick was among 26 Catholic priests suspended by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for possible inappropriate conduct with children in March 2011. Criminal charges were brought against him in July 2012.

Despite a judge telling juries in both trials that McCormick could be found guilty based solely on the testimony of the alleged victim, neither found adequate evidence to reach that verdict. The alleged victim, now 27, referred to an incident in 1997 in which the priest attempted to force him into committing a sex act in his bedroom at the St. John Cantius church in Bridesburg. 

McCormick now lives near Pottstown in Montgomery County.