|New Sex-Abuse Allegations against Convicted Priest
By Manya A. Brachear
October 24, 2007
A renowned Jesuit priest convicted in 2006 in Wisconsin of molesting two Loyola Academy students during the 1960s was accused Tuesday of abusing two brothers as recently as 2002.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Cook County, a 20-year-old college student and his 28-year-old brother, originally from Arizona, contend Rev. Donald McGuire molested them between 1988 and 2002 when the priest appeared at retreats in Arizona organized by the boys' father and during a trip to Chicago.
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 and celebrating mass in a private home in Oak Lawn. A judge declined to revoke the probation after another lawsuit was filed in August alleging further abuse had occurred in recent years.
The parents of the plaintiffs in the latest suit met the priest in 1983 on a spiritual pilgrimage to shrines in Europe. In Lourdes, France, McGuire inspired the mother to convert to Catholicism and asked the father to organize spiritual retreats in Arizona, the plaintiffs' father said during a news conference Tuesday.
McGuire allegedly abused the older brother, John Doe 117, inside the confessional during those retreats. McGuire later baptized the younger brother, named in the suit as John Doe 118, and presided over the marriage ceremony of John Doe 117. He allegedly abused John Doe 118 at a fundraiser thrown by the family the same weekend as his older brother's wedding.
Accusations against McGuire date to the 1960s, when he taught at Loyola Academy in Wilmette. In 1969, a 16-year-old reported 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 accuser, now a 53-year-old Arizona man, said the school forced him to transfer. McGuire remained at Loyola Academy until 1970, then traveled the world as the spiritual director for Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity.
The Arizona man and another plaintiff, Victor Bender, sued 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.
The Wisconsin statute of limitations does not apply to out-of-state residents, and McGuire was prosecuted and convicted in that state of molesting the students during several trips to the resort area near Lake Geneva between 1966 and 1968. He was sentenced to two concurrent seven-year prison terms and three concurrent 20-year probation terms. The prison sentence was postponed pending his appeal but probation started immediately.
Prosecutors in Maricopa County, Ariz., and Cook County have been notified of the allegations in Tuesday's lawsuit.
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