Archdiocese Pays Out $4 Million in Settlement
Four Victims Will Share Money

July 9, 2003

CHICAGO -- They were molested as youths, and they say that despite their settlement Wednesday, their ordeal continues to haunt them.

The four sexual abuse victims will receive $4 million from the archdiocese. The Chicago archdiocese has now paid out more than $20 million as a result of clergy abuse cases.

"I thought I was the only person, the only victim," said Eddie Vincent (pictured, right), who was identified only as "John Doe" in the lawsuit filed against the Chicago Archdiocese. "The more I found out about it, I [discovered that] the church knew about it. I was, like, one of the last victims. I really had trouble sleeping."

Vincent, a former Wheeling resident, is one of the four victims who will share in the settlement. Vincent claims he was abused at the hands of Rev. Vincent McCaffrey, who was then a priest at St. Joseph's Church in Wheeling. Vincent said he was an altar boy at the time, less than 10 years old when the abuse took place.

Now, McCaffrey is prison after being convicted for possessing child pornography. Mccaffrey got what most consider a harsh sentence -- 20 years -- for possessing child pornography, largely, because of victims, like Vincent, testifying against him.

McCaffrey was never criminally charged in the molestation cases, though he's admitted to more than a dozen cases of sexually abusing children. His victims think that estimate is extremely low and consider him one of the worst offenders allowed to move within the church -- without anyone speaking out about it until recently.

"He's the worst sexual predator, going back to the late 70s," said Jeff Anderson, an attorney for one of the victims.

Vincent said the settlement brings him gratification after years of feelings of betrayal.

"He wouldn't look at me, but I made him look at me" he said. "The fact I got to look this priest in eye, made him look at me, [told him how he] betrayed my mother, my family -- it eased a little pain."


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