Chicago Media Reports $3.2 Million Church Sex Abuse Settlement Co-Counseled by Abels & Annes

Media outlets throughout the Chicago area continue to report the $3.2 million sex abuse settlement against the Catholic church, which was secured by the Chicago personal injury law firms of Abels & Annes, P.C. and Hilfman & Martin, P.C. $300,000 of the settlement is to be placed in escrow for services.

ABC7 News reports convicted pedophile and former Roman Catholic Priest Daniel McCormack sexually abused the boy, who was a poor kid from a single-parent home who was looking to the church for safety and security.

The abuse in this case perpetrated by McCormack occurred when the boy was in grades 5 through 7. Now 18, he hopes to use some of the settlement to go to college.

McCormack pleaded guilty to abusing five children while working as a teacher, coach and priest at St. Agatha Catholic Church and School in Chicago. McCormack pleaded guilty in 2007 to abusing the boy and a number of other victims. He served half of a 5-year prison sentence and remains in a mental health facility under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

Attorneys took depositions from a number of senior Archdiocese officials, including priests and seminary leaders. The church agreed to the settlement shortly before the case was scheduled to go to trial. The lawsuit contended that church leaders failed to keep McCormack away from children despite knowing that he was sexually abusing them.

WGNTV reports the church is facing at least two other lawsuits in connection with its failure to stop McCormack from abusing children. Abels & Annes and Hilfman & Martin represent the plaintiffs in the 2 pending lawsuits.

The Chicago Tribune reported the Archdiocese of Chicago released a brief statement:

“The Archdiocese of Chicago does not comment on specific details of settlements in clergy misconduct cases out of respect for the privacy of all involved,” the statement said. “Victims-survivors are free to speak about their situations and the Archdiocese respects their right to make public the details of their settlements, if they choose to do so. With this settlement, all five of the claims to which McCormack pled guilty have been resolved.”

NBCChicago reports the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said it hopes the settlement will help the victim reach his full potential in adulthood.

“We are grateful that McCormack is not walking the streets where he could access additional children,” the group said.

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