Saturday, May 1, 2010

More allegations against convicted former priest
More allegations against convicted former priest
Imprisoned for sexual abuse of five boys; McCormack faces allegations from four more men
By Manya A. Brachear, Tribune reporter

May 1, 2010

Since former Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack began serving a five-year sentence in a state penitentiary for molesting five boys, four more young men have accused the priest of sexual misconduct, the Chicago Archdiocese and law enforcement officials said Friday.

No new criminal charges have been filed, but the new allegations — including one substantiated by the archdiocese review board and three under church review — could significantly bolster prosecutors' efforts to keep McCormack confined either behind bars or in a secure treatment facility.

"In a Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act hearing, you can bring in any admissible evidence that supports the position that the respondent is dangerous," said Mark Heyrman, clinical professor of law at the University of Chicago. "The number of previous crimes or times in which the defendant has done this are certainly relevant."

Heyrman said the state's attorney would determine whether to press any additional charges against McCormack. Shauna Boliker of the Cook County state's attorney's office declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

McCormack, 41, pleaded guilty in July 2007 to abusing five boys and served 2 1/2 years of his five-year sentence. Shortly before he was paroled last September, the Illinois attorney general and state's attorney filed a joint petition under the Illinois Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act to keep McCormack in custody.

The law allows prosecutors to seek continued incarceration if a psychological exam leads them to believe another sex crime is likely if the inmate goes free. The next hearing in the commitment proceeding is scheduled for May 18.

All allegations have been reported by the church to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and the state's attorney's office, officials said.

McCormack was removed from the priesthood in 2007.

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