|Priest Faces Suit in Abuse Claims
Man on Probation for Previous Case
By Manya A. Brachear
August 22, 2007
Chicago (IL) — A prominent Jesuit priest convicted of molesting two Loyola Academy students during the 1960s was accused this week of abusing another boy as recently as 2003.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, a 21-year-old college student says Rev. Donald McGuire molested him between 1999 and 2003 while the teen shared a bedroom with the priest in Canisius House, a Jesuit residence in Evanston. The suit accuses McGuire of abusing the boy in 12 states and six countries as he traveled the globe providing spiritual retreats.
Authorities in Wisconsin, where McGuire was convicted last year, said the suit has prompted them to consider filing new charges, ending his probation and putting him in prison. Wisconsin is one of the states mentioned in the suit.
This year McGuire, 77, was allowed to return to Illinois pending an appeal of his conviction because the authorities did not consider him a risk to children. He has been living on probation in a private home in Oak Lawn.
In Cook County, Assistant State's Atty. Shauna Boliker said she first was alerted to the allegations by one of the plaintiff's lawyers, Marc Pearlman, on Tuesday and launched an investigation immediately.
But Jeremy Langford, a spokesman for the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, said the order's attorney had faxed two letters to Cook County prosecutors in February after the student came forward in January.
According to Phillip Koss, district attorney in Walworth County, Wis., the Jesuits did not report the allegations to law enforcement in that state. Koss said the accusations could have prevented McGuire from receiving probation and crossing state lines.
"One of the factors in releasing somebody on bond ... is that he is not likely to commit further crimes," Koss said. "If we had known there was a more recent victim ... it would have been nice to know this to evaluate bond for someone who's been out for over a year."
The plaintiff in the lawsuit against McGuire and the Chicago Jesuits went to live with the priest with the permission of his mother, who considered McGuire a spiritual mentor to their troubled family. Identified in the suit only as John Doe 116, he is now a college student on the East Coast.
One of the three lawyers representing him in the case is McGuire's nephew.
At a news conference Tuesday, California attorney Kevin McGuire said that although he has represented multiple survivors of sex abuse, he initially struggled to accept the accusations leveled against his uncle, a respected priest whom he called the "patriarch" of the McGuire family.
"In the beginning, I did not believe," the attorney said. "I couldn't get my arms around the allegations."
The accusations date to the 1960s, when McGuire taught at Loyola Academy in Wilmette. In 1969, a 16-year-old confided to a priest in North Chicago that McGuire had physically and sexually abused him repeatedly at school and on field trips beginning his freshman year.
After a meeting with three school administrators, the victim, now a 53-year-old Arizona man, said the school forced him to transfer to St. Ignatius College Prep, telling him that the move was in his best interests.
McGuire remained at Loyola Academy until 1970. He went on to travel the world as the spiritual director for Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity.
The Arizona man and another plaintiff, Victor Bender, filed lawsuits in 2003 and notified civil authorities. Though McGuire allegedly molested them in Wilmette, those allegations fell outside Illinois' criminal statute of limitations, which runs out 20 years after a victim of child sex abuse turns 18.
Because the Wisconsin statute of limitations does not apply to out-of-state residents, McGuire was prosecuted and convicted of molesting the students during several trips to the resort area near Lake Geneva between 1966 and 1968.
He was sentenced to two concurrent 7-year prison terms and three concurrent 20-year probation terms. The prison sentence was postponed pending his appeal, but probation started immediately.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.