I'm suprised Ivanhoe hasn't posted this one for us yet.
Another alleged sex-abuse victim of McCormack comes forward
January 31, 2006
Another Chicago boy Monday told Chicago Police and prosecutors that he had been sexually abused by the Rev. Daniel McCormack, a Roman Catholic priest who was charged earlier this month with molesting two boys at St. Agatha Parish in North Lawndale.
The boy, 11, who attends a Chicago public school and not St. Agatha's parochial school, told authorities that McCormack abused him and gave him gifts, a law enforcement source said, adding, "What he was saying was consistent with the other" allegations against the priest.
On Jan. 21, prosecutors charged McCormack with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for allegedly fondling the genitals of two boys -- an 8-year-old (now 11) from Willowbrook on two occasions in December 2003 when they were alone in St. Agatha Church after mass, and a 9-year-old (now 13) who claims the priest molested him two to three times a month from September 2001 to January 2005.
The 11-year-old boy and his parents took their allegations to police and prosecutors Monday with their attorney, Jeff Anderson of Minnesota, who is probably the pre-eminent lawyer in the nation representing alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse. In the last 20 years, Anderson has sued more than half of the Roman Catholic dioceses in the United States and has represented more than 500 who said they were victims of abuse at the hands of priests.
Standing in front of St. Agatha Church on Monday afternoon, Anderson would give few details about his client and the alleged abuse because he wanted to "protect the family." He would say only that the boy was under the age of 12 and that the abuse took place more than once sometime in the last two years.
"He is a sweet boy," Anderson said of his young client. "He's confused and he's hurting and he's scared. He's in a tough spot. He's in a place that no child should be, not in this day, not in this time. Not, particularly, knowing what we now know, that this archdiocese has known about this offender for months if not years."
Jim Dwyer, a spokesman for the Chicago archdiocese, said Monday evening that church officials had not yet been contacted by the family of the 11-year-old boy or by Anderson. "We want him to come forward and everyone else to come forward," Dwyer said. "We've got good policies and procedures, but they don't work if people don't come forward."
Cardinal Francis George has said McCormack was not removed from ministry at St. Agatha last August, when the Willowbrook boy took his allegations against the priest to Chicago Police and prosecutors, because neither the boy nor his parents took the complaint directly to the archdiocese, a step that is necessary to begin the canonical process of removing a pastor from his church. At the time, civil authorities felt they did not have sufficient evidence to criminally charge McCormack.
Last week, a Chicago nun who worked at Holy Family School, where McCormack celebrated weekly mass for pupils, told the Chicago Sun-Times that a fourth-grade student claimed McCormack had asked him to drop his pants in the sacristy of the church next door when the two were alone after mass in 2000. The nun says she reported the incident to church officials six years ago but her warnings went unheeded.
"This won't be the last time you hear from us about this," said Anderson, who declined to say explicitly that he planned to file a civil lawsuit in the McCormack case. "They still haven't gotten the message. And I haven't started legal action . . . but obviously more will be required to get [the archdiocese's] attention."