Archdiocese settles with alleged McCormack abuse victim for $3.2 million
BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Religion Reporter January 30, 2014 9:45AM
Now defrocked Catholic priest Daniel McCormack is seen leaving a Chicago court in this 2006 photo. | AP File
Updated: March 3, 2014 4:39PM
A nearly $3.2 million settlement has been reached with the Archdiocese of Chicago in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse with a minor by former priest Daniel McCormack, attorneys in the case said Thursday.
The identify of the plaintiff was not released, but the abuse was alleged to have occurred while the victim was between eighth and 11th grades, according to the plaintiff’s attorneys.
The victim sued the archdiocese and Cardinal Francis George in 2010 alleging they failed to remove McCormack from access to children although they had knowledge that he had sexually abused minors.
The lawsuit alleged that at various times, “McCormack inappropriately sexually touched, hugged, rubbed and/or abused” the plaintiff while he engaged in activities at St. Agatha’s Parish and St. Agatha’s rectory, including playing in a high school basketball league.
McCormack was arrested in January 2006. He was removed from the priesthood in November 2007 and pleaded guilty that year to abusing five children while he was a parish priest at St. Agatha.
As a result of the abuse and negligence of the archdiocese, the plaintiff “suffered and continues to suffer physical injury and emotional distress and embarrassment, loss of enjoyment of life, difficulty in trusting and dealing with adult male figures and other injuries and has or will incur expenses for future care and treatment, therapy and counseling,” the lawsuit states.
“We are pleased to have reached this settlement because it marks one more step toward bringing justice to the victim and his family,” plaintiff attorney William F. Martin said in a statement.
The archdiocese of Chicago confirmed the settlement and noted in a statement it was achieved with the assistance of a mediator.
“The Archdiocese continues to encourage the use of alternatives to litigation to resolve claims of sexual misconduct in a just, fair and compassionate manner,” it said. “The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee, to come forward.”
Earlier this month in response to lawsuit settlements, the archdiocese released to attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman thousands of pages of documents detailing sexual abuse allegations against 30 priests, and how church officials responded to the allegations. None of the priests are now serving in ministry, according to the archdiocese, which noted 14 of the priests are dead. Archdiocese representatives said then the archdiocese had paid out about $100 million to victims of sexual abuse.