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Drexel Meningitis Confirmed, Skippack; Priest Abuse Case Mistrial; DeCoatsworth Rethinks Guilty Plea
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 03/12/14 11:33 pm | updated: 03/12/14 11:33 pm
Philadelphia medical examiners confirm that the sudden death of a Drexel University sophomore was caused by bacterial meningitis. Stephanie Ross, a mechanical engineering student, was found unresponsive in her sorority house by her sisters on Monday and taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center where she died. Anyone who may have had direct or close contact with her have been offered antibiotics at Drexel's medical center. Officials in Montgomery County were alerted yesterday that a third grade student at Skippack Elementary School at been hospitalized for a meningococcal infection which can lead to meningitis. As a precaution they are going to disinfect the Collegeville, PA school and are identifying anyone who may have had contact with the student.

A Philadelphia judge declared a mistrial today in the case of an Archdiocesan priest accused of assaulting an altar boy after the jury reported that it was deadlocked after 4 days of deliberations. Rev. Andrew McCormick is accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in his rectory quarters in 1997. The accuser, now 26, took the stand during the trial as did McCormick. A gag order is in effect precluding anyone involved from commenting. McCormick is still free on bail and is due back in court on April 28th. Prosecutor Kristen Kemp says that they do plan to retry the case.

The former hero-cop-now-rape-suspect 28-year-old Richard DeCoatsworth is having second thoughts about his guilty plea and wants to go to trial instead. Just a few weeks ago, DeCoatsworth decided to take a deal that drastically reduced his charges and dropped over 20 others by pleading guilty to simple assault, promoting prostitution and a drug charge. Against the advice of his lawyer, Charles Peruto, Jr., he now wants to take his chances in court. All the charges would get reinstated even rape and aggravated assault. The judge will give him two weeks to think it over. DeCoatsworth was recognized by the White House in 2009 and even sat next to First Lady Michele Obama at the State of the Union address for his display of heroism at a traffic stop in 2007.

SEE ALSO: Former Hero Cop Pleads Guilty
SEE ALSO: DeCoatsworth Accused in 2012

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