Feds Charge Chicago Priest with Abuse
Convicted in Wisconsin, Jesuit Faces Federal Counts
By Manya Brachear and Jeff Coen
November 2, 2007
A prominent Jesuit priest who traveled around the globe as a spiritual shepherd brought a teenage boy on at least one of his international trips and molested him repeatedly, federal authorities charged Friday.
Rev. Donald McGuire faced a judge in Dirksen Federal Courthouse on charges that he traveled to Switzerland and Austria in December 2000 to engage in sexual misconduct with a minor, who is now 21 and a college student.
But the affidavit against McGuire paints a portrait of a serial molester who targeted acolytes entrusted to his supervision. The accuser identified as Victim A told authorities McGuire sexually abused him from 1999 to 2003 in 12 states and six countries. His mother had sent him to live in Evanston with the priest, who had become a spiritual mentor to their troubled family.
The document also outlines inappropriate conduct with two other minors.
According to the affidavit, Victim A and another boy were abused after admitting to McGuire during the sacrament of confession that they masturbated. McGuire insisted on inspecting the boys' genitals with a magnifying glass and baby oil to make sure they had not harmed themselves, the affidavit said. The abuse escalated to include discussion of sexual topics, pornography, massages of the body and genitals, showers and oral sex, officials say.
The third man corroborated the claims of Victim A and also alleged McGuire showed him pornography.
Victims A and B had filed civil suits against McGuire and the Jesuit order; Victim C had not come forward publicly until now.
Correspondence between families and Jesuit leaders, released by lawyers this week, appears to reveal a trail of allegations against McGuire dating to 1969. But Illinois' statute of limitations prevented prosecution on decades-old claims of abuse.
McGuire, 77, was convicted last year in Wisconsin of molesting two students from Loyola Academy in Wilmette during trips near Lake Geneva in the 1960s; that state's statute of limitations does not apply to out-of-state residents.
McGuire's 7-year prison sentence was postponed pending an appeal, and McGuire had been permitted to live in a private Oak Lawn home until Wisconsin authorities jailed him Thursday for a third probation violation.
If convicted on the federal charges, McGuire faces up to 15 years in prison.
As former spiritual director for Mother Teresa, McGuire offered Roman Catholic retreats around the globe. The affidavit cited letters from Jesuit officials in the early 1990s repeatedly instructing McGuire to discontinue overnight trips with minors.
Kevin McGuire, the priest's nephew and an attorney representing two of the accusers in civil suits, said the criminal charges should bring a degree of closure to families involved.
"There's certainly vindication in the filing of criminal charges, given McGuire's influence and support extends across the country," he said.
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