Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Priest Abused 4 More Boys: Lawsuit

Priest Abused 4 More Boys: Lawsuit
Daniel McCormack remains in mental health facility
Updated 6:40 PM CDT, Mon, Jul 12, 2010

NBCChicago.com The Illinois Attorney General's office filed new claims of sexual abuse today against a defrocked priest who has already been committed to a mental health institution.

Dan McCormack, the Chicago Archdiocese and Francis Cardinal George are all named in the civil lawsuit filed late Monday afternoon. The lawsuit comes on the heels of a similar suit filed just last week.

In the new lawsuit, four young men, one still a minor, claim they were repeatedly abused by McCormack while he was their church pastor and basketball coach at St. Agatha's Catholic Church on the city's West Side.

Sources close to the investigation told NBC Chicago the accusers didn't come forward earlier because they were ashamed.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests expressed disappointment that the latest allegations were revealed in the legal system.

"We are saddened by Cardinal George's continuing secrecy," said SNAP spokeswoman Therese Albrecht in a written statement. "We suspect that there are still others who were molested by McCormack who have not yet spoken up. Remember that prosecutors said, back when McCormack was first charged, that he was abusing on an almost daily basis. It's tragic that the archdiocese, with its considerable resources, isn't doing more to find and help these wounded children."

In 2007, McCormack pleaded guilty to five felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and was sentenced to a five-year prison term. The sexual abuse, which leads back to his 2001 days as a teacher and basketball coach at Our Lady of the Westside School (now St. Agatha Academy), targeted boys between the ages of 8 and 12. Charges were never filed against McCormack until 2006, when he was finally removed as pastor.

A child safety review completed after McCormack was arrested revealed the original abuse investigation conducted by the Archdiocese was mishandled. The archdiocese has since developed a new monitoring program.

The now 41-year-old served two-and-a-half years in prison and was paroled last September, but the offices of the Illinois Attorney General and Cook County State's Attorney have filed a petition under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act to block his release.

He remains in a mental health facility.

No comments: