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Catholic priest sentenced for rapes at Ipswich camp

The Rev. Richard J. McCormick was led out of Lawrence Superior Court, after being sentenced to eight to ten years in prison.Mark Lorenz for the Globe

LAWRENCE — A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced Wednesday to eight to 10 years in prison for raping a boy multiple times between 1981 and 1982 in Ipswich.

The Rev. Richard J. McCormick, 73, learned his punishment after hearing from the 44-year-old victim, who was between 10 and 12 years old when he was raped at a summer camp at the Salesian Brothers’ Sacred Heart retreat center in Ipswich.

Speaking in Essex County Superior Court, the man said he lost his faith because of McCormick and that being in a church or seeing a priest provokes feelings of anxiety and rage.


“Does he even remember me?” the man asked. “I don’t have to ask that today because I know the answer as he sits there in his chair denying even being at the camp. … But I do remember him. I remember him every day of my life. Not a day goes by when there isn’t some sort of trigger that brings back all those memories.”

As he spoke, the man referenced a trophy displayed in front of him. He said McCormick gave him the trophy and that it is the only one he saved from childhood. At times, he said, he thought he wanted to use the trophy “to jam it in Mr. Richard McCormick’s chest.”

“That was just one part of me that was speaking,” he said. “That part was rage.”

A trophy referenced by the victim during his statement in court.Mark Lorenz for the Boston Globe/Globe Freelance

The man said he planned to return the trophy to the Salesians. After he finished addressing the court, he picked up the the trophy and set it on the railing of a jury box next to a table where McCormick was seated.

The Globe does not name the victims of sexual assault.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall had sought 12 to 15 years in prison for McCormick. His defense attorney Steve Neyman asked for two years, saying McCormick is a “broken man.”


McCormick was convicted earlier this month of five counts of child rape.

He is charged with another count of child rape in connection with allegations made by another male victim who attended the same summer camp during the same period, according to the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett.

A hearing in that case is set for Feb. 5.