Documents released Tuesday show that Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, more commonly referred to as the Chicago Jesuits, knew of allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against a former priest and took steps to actively cover up the allegations for 40 years.
The former priest at issue, Donald McGuire, has been criminally convicted of sexual abuse of some minors but to date, officials have identified 28 people who identify themselves as victims. Of these, eight have filed lawsuits thus far.
The documents detailed claims made against the defrocked Jesuit priest as well as naming numerous superiors who had knowledge of the sexual impropriety that was occurring. Instead of subjecting McGuire to sanctions, punishment, or informing the police, the Chicago Jesuits concealed the allegations and arranged transfers of McGuire to new posts.
The documents, coupled with the criminal conviction of McGuire and the claims of several abused men, led to a $19.6 million settlement to conclude the claims of six victims. The settlement was reached in January and was publicly reported this week.
Victims have stated that the abuse began for some of them in the 1960s and occurred as late as 2004. During this time, McGuire held many positions within the church, including work at Loyola Academy in Wilmette and Loyola University in Chicago. McGuire also reportedly traveled on mission trips with some young men that took him out of the country and around the world where some victims have stated the abuse continued.
Sexual abuse is a sensitive and serious area of the law with many potential complications. Though these cases have received increased publicity in recent years, some facts are not often brought to light. The truth is that many victims of sexual assault suffer from their injuries for decades or even the remainder of their lives. It can affect a victim’s personal relationships with family and friends, ability to work and hold down a job, ability to cope with stresses and complications in life, as well as a number of other issues.
The attorneys at Ables & Annes, P.C. did not represent the victims that reached the recent settlement with the Chicago Jesuits, but our attorneys regularly represent other victims of similar sexual abuse. We represent clients in claims against those individuals who abused them. In addition to the abusers, there may be a claim against others including churches, schools, day care centers, coaches, and others. We have several cases currently pending against the Archdiocese of Chicago.
If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, you may have a claim for your damages and you can contact the sexual abuse and assault attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. to discuss your rights. We will protect your identity while we fight for a recovery on your behalf. Call us at (855) 529-2442 or (312) 924-7575.
Prior Blog Entries:
Fractured Rail May Have Contributed to Train Collision, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 21, 2013.
Cop Kills Pit Bull That Attacked Two in Chicago, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published May 18, 2013.
Chicago Jesuits hid sex crimes, by Manya Brachear, Chicago Tribune, published May 22, 2013.
Image Credit: Image ID: 1418812, stock.xchng.