Today Illinois sex abuse attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C., working with co-counsel filed three additional lawsuits on behalf of three plaintiffs who allege they were sexually abused by former Chicago priest Daniel McCormack when they were minors. The lawsuits name Cardinal Francis George, the Catholic Bishop of Chicago, and the Archdiocese of Chicago as defendants.
To protect their identities and the identities of their families, the plaintiffs filed the lawsuit anonymously through the use of pseudonyms (such as John Doe). The plaintiffs allege that they were around Daniel McCormack during their school days at St. Agatha’s parish. During that time, McCormack was a priest at St. Agatha’s parish and St. Agatha’s rectory and for some time was a coach of the boy’s basketball team.
The lawsuits allege that through his interactions with the plaintiffs, McCormack exerted an inappropriate presence over the plaintiffs that included sexual touching and contact. The lawsuits further state that allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior had been launched previously against McCormack and that officials failed to take any action to remove McCormack from his post or prevent his access to children. The earliest complaints brought to the Church’s attention were back when McCormack was still in seminary, the suit alleges, but Archdiocese officials still failed to take action to prevent further sexual abuse.
The lawsuit continues to claim that the Church failed to warn the students, their families, and the public of the allegations against McCormack and allowed these individuals to spend solitary time with McCormack, enabling the abuse that occurred. Instead of issuing warnings, McCormack was promoted and was eventually named pastor of St. Agatha’s in 2000.
When police learned of the alleged abuse, an investigation was initiated and McCormack was arrested in 2005. Even after his arrest and a recommendation by a review board for McCormack’s removal, the Church waited until McCormack was arrested a second time in 2006 before it took the necessary steps to remove him from his position with the Church.
McCormack was eventually charged with molesting several minor boys through his interactions with them at St. Agatha’s. He pleaded guilty to charges of sexually abusing five boys and was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
In 2011, the sexual abuse lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C., working with co-counsel, settled a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Chicago, Cardinal George, and the Catholic Bishop of Chicago involving sexual abuse of a minor boy by former Rev. Daniel McCormack for $3.2 million, $300,000 of which was placed in escrow for services. The identity of that plaintiff and his family remain confidential.
The damages caused by sexual abuse can be severe and last a lifetime, taking a childhood away from an innocent victim. When a child is abused, there is the possibility for a civil claim in addition to any criminal penalties asserted by law enforcement. The Illinois sexual abuse lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C., working with co-counsel, currently represent several victims in cases against the Church as well as other abusers and institutions. If you have been the victim of sexual abuse, call the lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. today at (312) 924-7575 for a free, confidential telephone consultation.